1. Charles Barkley never pulls a punch, so for one of his rants to really stand out, it really has to hit hard.
That was the case last night when Chuck weighed in on the 22–23 Lakers, who are currently in eighth place in the Western Conference.
With rumors swirling about coach Frank Vogel’s job status and Russell Westbrook recently getting benched, Barkley took direct aim at the Lakers’ front office like only he can.
“The Lakers are such wussies,” Barkley said on Thursday’s Inside the NBA. “And I’ll say 'wussies' because I can’t say the word I wanna say. The way they have tried to throw Russell Westbrook and Frank Vogel under the bus is just really pissing me off.”
Just as Barkley was getting warmed up, Ernie Johnson had to cut him off to go to an interview, which prompted Barkley to yell out, “The Lakers still suck.”
When the interview was over, Barkley continued his rant.
“I’m still mad,” he said. “I’m not gonna sit up like all these clowns on other networks who got their heads up the Lakers' booties. They’re blaming Frank Vogel and Russell Westbrook. The people up top who put that trash together are running and hiding like cowards, saying, ‘Oh, it’s Frank. It’s Russ.’
They put all those old geezers out there. Listen, the best guy other than LeBron in the last month has been Stanley Johnson, and for y’all to be bringing in a guy who was on the street and he becomes your second best player—whoever is running that trash out there, it’s ridiculous, man.”
The best part of that video, however, comes at the very beginning when Barkley says something that probably no other sports television analyst can say, right before ripping the Lakers.
“I don’t care who wins. I just want the season to be over so we can play golf and fish.”
2. The success of startup wrestling company AEW is really impressive. On Wednesday night AEW Dynamite, airing on TBS, had a better rating (0.44) in the 18–49 category than the Hornets-Celtics (0.38) and Pistons-Warriors (0.34) games that aired on ESPN that same night.
3. Tough break for CBS's Charles Davis, who will miss Saturday's Bengals-Titans playoff game because of COVID-19 protocols. Trent Green will fill in for Davis and work alongside Ian Eagle.
Speaking of Eagle, he told SiriusXM's Chris Russo on Thursday that he's learned his lesson about taking red-eye flights out of Las Vegas.
4. I have nothing but respect for this guy.
5. This was a good tweet from former NFL quarterback Matt Cassel.
6. A new SI Media Podcast dropped Thursday, and this week’s guest is Jim Nantz. Topics covered include calling the dramatic end of the Niners-Cowboys wild-card game, the QB he thinks would be a huge TV star, his philosophy on working with Tony Romo, John Madden memories, why he likes wearing CBS sports coats and much more.
Following the interview with Nantz is the weekly "Traina Thoughts" segment with Sal Licata from WFAN and SNY TV in New York. This week's topics include how we they did on preseason NFL predictions, the frustration with wild-card weekend, Sal's beef with people who tweet their Wordle results and more.
You can also watch the SI Media Podcast on YouTube.
7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: RIP, Meat Loaf. Here's the rocker singing the national anthem at the 1994 MLB All-Star Game.
Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on Apple, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.