Charles Barkley Blasts NBA for Rule Not Being 'Fair' After Lakers’ Loss to Nuggets

Jamal Murray and the Denver Nuggets ended the Los Angeles Lakers' season on Monday night on a go-ahead jumper with 3.6 seconds remaining to beat Los Angeles, 108-106.

The talking point after the game was the often-maligned decision making of Lakers coach Darvin Ham, who was out of timeouts and put his team in a position of pushing the ball up the court with 3.6 seconds left instead of inbounding the ball at halfcourt. The Lakers didn't get the shot they wanted, and were forced to take a near-half court heave as time expired to try to keep their season alive.

The reason? Darvin Ham challenged a call late in the game. But since it was his second challenge of the night, the Lakers lost a timeout by rule, even though the challenge was successful.

The Inside the NBA crew discussed the controversial rule after the game, and Charles Barkley is not a fan of it.

"Number one, it doesn't make sense," Barkley began. "I don't understand how you could win a challenge, but lose a timeout. I understand the rules, but that just doesn't seem fair to me," Barkley continued.

Kenny Smith agreed with Barkley's assessment of the rule, calling into question why teams would be penalized a timeout by overturning a mistake in officiating.

"I agree with Charles," Smith began. "You should be able to keep your timeout. [The referees] made the mistake, not us. We didn't make the mistake, you made the mistake."

"And that didn't cost them the game, but I'm saying I don't understand, that just doesn't seem fair," Barkley chimed back in. "You made a mistake and I got screwed by your mistake, that ain't right."

Ultimately, the Nuggets moved on to the second round, where they'll face the Minnesota Timberwolves. As for the Lakers, it will be a long offseason with plenty of questions regarding what comes next.

Mike McDaniel


Mike McDaniel is a writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated, where he has worked since January 2022. His work has been featured at, SB Nation, FanSided, and more. Mike hosts the Hokie Hangover Podcast, covering Virginia Tech athletics, as well as Basketball Conference: The ACC Football Podcast. Outside of his professional life, he is a husband, father, and an avid golfer.