TNT pays Charles Barkley very well for stating his opinion, and this is how he earns every penny of it. TNT and the NBA held a luncheon Monday afternoon, with TNT analyst Charles Barkley in attendance. “I think they tanked it last season,” Barkley said of Nets. “That team has some good players, but they tanked it to get the No. 1 pick.”
“If you just go out there and compete on a nightly basis it’s impossible to only win 12 NBA games,” Barkley continues.
The only flaw with Barkley’s conspiracy theory, if that was the Nets’ plan, it failed miserably. They missed out on the No. 1 spot, and John Wall. Instead they got the third round pick and Derrick Favors, a power forward from Georgia Tech.
Fellow TNT analyst, Kenny Smith agreed with Barkley on the deliberate tanking of the season, but offered a different reason for sabotage. “A player sees the situation and their first mechanism is to protect themselves,” Smith said. “How do I protect myself? Don’t get hurt, so I won’t go hard all the time. Second of all, get my numbers because I need to get another deal somewhere else. When you play as an individual you’re tanking the season.”
Either way, the horrible season left the team in disarray and a complete overhaul was made. Head Coach Lawernce Frank was fired, and Avery Johnson has taken his place. New owner Russian billionare Mikhail Prokhorov played the ‘LeBron Lottery’ and lost, but still made key additions. Jordan Farmar, Travis Outlaw and Anthony Marrow rounded out the roster.
With the new team in place, the Nets should more than make up for the dismal 12 win season. The Nets open the season Wednesday, against the Detroit Pistons. Let’s see if the new ‘Roc Boys’ can make some noise this season.