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Thursday, March 1, 2012
Barkley weighs in on Rip, MVP and MJ

By ESPNChicago.com

Richard Hamilton
Richard Hamilton has played in just 13 games for the Bulls in his first season with the Bulls.
Charles Barkley understands how tough it's going to be for Rip Hamilton to get in a rhythm with the Chicago Bulls because of the condensed schedule and his injuries, but he still doesn't think Tom Thibodeau should play Hamilton every day.

Hamilton, 34, has played just 13 games in his first season with the Bulls as he's battled groin and thigh injuries.

"Rip has just got to get healthy," Barkley said Thursday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "He can't worry about playing every game throughout this season. He has a lot of wear and tear on his body, a lot of wear and tear, because he's been one of the hardest working guys in NBA history. But with this condensed schedule, it's going to be very difficult for anybody to get in any type of rhythm.

"It's going to be tough for Rip to get healthy unless he does not play every game. I would not play him every game, especially coming down the stretch."

Barkley weighed in on other topics, including the MVP race and Michael Jordan's house being on the market for $29 million:

  • "The MVP to me is -- I always reward the guys on winning teams -- it's going to be Kevin Durant or LeBron or Derrick Rose again. My vote is always swayed toward the best player on the team with the best record. So right now LeBron, Derrick Rose -- Derrick is probably in third place because of all the injuries -- and Kevin Durant. Right now it's a two-man race between Durant and LeBron, because one of those two is probably going to finish with the best record.

    "But the Bulls still have a chance of having the best record in the NBA."

  • "I've been to the house a couple of times, and let me tell you something, that's a fair price for those digs. I wouldn't pay for it. If he let me have it for $15 million, I'll take it right now. Twenty-nine million, wow, that's awesome."

    "Michael must have had 5,000 pairs of shoes in (his garage). It was like a Nike store."

    "When we were filming the movie 'Space Jams,' they built Michael on the lot a gym, a full-length basketball court with stands, a complete workout area and an inflatable roof. We had basketball games every night. ... (Reggie Miller) and Michael had some great battles. "