Chicago Bulls: Charles Barkley

Barkley: Bulls 'stupidest' team in NBA

May, 21, 2014
May 21
By Staff
Tom Thibodeau and Gar FormanGary Dineen/NBAE/Getty ImagesCharles Barkley believes Gar Forman, right, and the Bulls owe it to Tom Thibodeau to declare that he is their coach and isn't going anywhere.
As the Chicago Bulls remain silent amid reports that at least two teams plan to ask their permission to interview coach Tom Thibodeau, Charles Barkley has some advice for what he calls "the stupidest organization in the NBA."

"Every year the idiots in Chicago, either they don't want to pay Thibs or his name comes up for other jobs. I wish the Bulls were smart enough to say 'We've got one of the best coaches in the NBA and he's not going anywhere,' " Barkley said Wednesday on the "Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000. "I don't understand why they don't appreciate Thibs there."

The Los Angeles Lakers and Memphis Grizzlies reportedly plan to ask the Bulls' permission to interview Thibodeau, who is under contract in Chicago for three more years. Since Thibodeau is under contract the Bulls would certainly want to be compensated, likely with a draft pick, if a team wanted to hire him away from Chicago.

Thibodeau, who won the NBA's Coach of the Year after leading the Bulls to 62 victories in 2010-11, has established himself as one of the league's top coaches. He has led the Bulls to the playoffs in each of his four seasons, including the past two when Derrick Rose played in just 10 games because of two knee injuries.

"No guys does more with less than Coach Thibodeau," Barkley said. "... He gets more out of their team than any coach could. Now, if he's not happy and someone wants to give a bunch of draft picks for him that's a totally different animal. But it's disappointing to me that every single year there's chatter about Thibs. You think people would let somebody say something about Gregg Popovich? 'He's our coach. He's not going anywhere.' The Spurs would release a statement ASAP."

Thibodeau and the front office have clashed at times over the firing of assistant Ron Adams, a Thibodeau confidant who was let go by general manager Gar Forman, and the trade of Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers in January.

To this point the front office -- and Thibodeau -- have stayed silent on the issue. Both sides declined comment last week at the NBA scouting combine. Barkley said that's the wrong strategy for the Bulls.

"They don't have to address rumors, just come out and say he's our coach and he's not going anywhere," Barkley said. "That shuts up all the chatter. If you let rumors keep circulating it just gets louder. All the Bulls got to say is 'we've got one of the best coaches in the NBA and he's not going anywhere.' That would shut the chatter up immediately."

Barkley: Melo could make Bulls relevant

January, 27, 2014
Jan 27
Charles Barkley believes acquiring New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony could make the Chicago Bulls relevant.

[+] EnlargeCarmelo Anthony
AP Photo/Seth WenigCharles Barkley believes Carmelo Anthony would thrive playing for Tom Thibodeau.
"I think [Anthony] has got some flaws in his game on the defensive end and rebounding, but if you put him with [Joakim] Noah -- Noah's my favorite player -- I think [coach Tom Thibodeau] would make him play defense," Barkley said Monday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000. "I also think if the Bulls are going to be relevant in the next few years that might be something they can do. Carmelo is the best scorer in the NBA. I give him a little advantage over [Kevin] Durant because Durant doesn't post up as much as I think he should.

"But if the Bulls are going to be relevant the next few years, that might be a good pickup."

Anthony can opt out of the final year of his contract with the Knicks to become a free agent on July 1. A Yahoo! Sports report over the weekend quoted a source saying the Bulls are "much more in play for him" than the Los Angeles Lakers.

How would Anthony, perhaps the game's best scorer, fit into Thibodeau's defense-first system?

"I think Coach Thibs would be great for Carmelo," Barkley said. "I think he would make Carmelo a better player, more [than] one-dimensional because I think the Bulls play as hard as any team in the NBA. Thibs is great defensively. I think Thibs would do wonders for Carmelo."

If Anthony re-ups with the Knicks, he could ink a five-year contract worth $129,135,806. If he signs with another team, the maximum he can earn is $95,897,372 over four years, according to calculations by ESPN salary-cap expert Larry Coon. The Bulls would have to significantly overhaul their roster to pair Anthony with Derrick Rose, who is already signed to a max contract.

Barkley said he believes the perception that the Bulls are cheap is accurate, although he only cited their dealings with Thibodeau on the coach's extension as evidence.

"I do think they are cheap like the way they treated Coach Thibs a couple years ago," Barkley said. "The guy is one of the best coaches in the NBA and they make him wait. It was like pulling teeth getting a contract. I really don't have any problem with anything else they did. I have no problem with the [Luol] Deng trade because they are not going to sign him for big money going forward. He's an older player. I thought that was a great trade for the Bulls.

"I think they are in a very awkward situation. If they don't do something dramatic like bring in a Carmelo they are going to be irrelevant for the next few years."

Anthony aside, Barkley said the Bulls' future all comes down to Rose's surgically repaired knees.

"They were a legit contender before Derrick Rose started getting hurt. They were in the Eastern Conference finals a couple of years ago. They were right there," Barkley said. "The whole thing now is Derrick Rose's knees. I'm not sure what's going to happen with that situation. It's going to be wait and see the next couple of years.

"Derrick is such a great kid, but we don't have any idea how he is going to come back. If you're going to be relevant, Melo might be the way to go because there really isn't any other free agent out there right now who you would say, 'If we bring in this guy our team is going to be a lot better.'"

Barkley likes Rose's confident answer

July, 30, 2013
Charles Barkley said Tuesday he likes the confidence Derrick Rose showed when the Chicago Bulls star recently said he considers himself the best player in the NBA.

"I've got no problem with that," Barkley said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000. "First of all, if you don't think you're the best player you shouldn't be playing. I'll be honest with you, when I was playing in the NBA I thought I was better than Michael Jordan, and I think Karl Malone thought he was better than Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing thought he was better than Michael Jordan. ... We think he just got more help than I got, he ain't no damn better player than me.

"... You give me (Kevin) McHale and (Robert) Parish I'm going to win championships too. Same thing with Magic Johnson. You give me Kareem (Abdul-Jabbar) and Michael Cooper and James Worthy, as an individual player I'm better than Larry Bird and Magic Johnson."

When asked by CNN last week who is the best player in the NBA, Rose, who missed all of last season recovering from knee surgery, answered "Derrick Rose."

Barkley: 'Very surprised' Rose not playing

May, 7, 2013
By Staff
Derrick RoseGarrett W. Ellwood/NBAE/Getty ImagesDerrick Rose has been scrimmaging 5-on-5 since Feb. 18 without any announced setback.
Charles Barkley said Tuesday that Joakim Noah's passionate defense of Derrick Rose was typical of a teammate's bond, but Barkley disagreed with Noah and believes Rose should be playing by now.

"Derrick Rose has practiced for the last two months. If there was something wrong with him in practice, I think the Bulls would have came out at some point and said, 'Hey, he doesn't look good in practice,'" Barkley said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "So I'm just very surprised he hasn't come back.

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Podcast: Barkley talks Bulls-Heat

May, 7, 2013
Charles Barkley joins "Waddle & Silvy" to discuss the Bulls' victory over the Heat in Game 1, his outlook for the series, Derrick Rose and more.

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Barkley: Thibs needs to ease up on Bulls

February, 14, 2013
BullsNed Dishman/NBAE/Getty ImagesDespite their recent skid, Tom Thibodeau has gotten a lot out of the Rose-less Bulls in the first half of the season.
Charles Barkley says the Chicago Bulls, losers of five of their past seven, are "physically tired" and coach Tom Thibodeau needs to let up a bit to preserve them for the rest of the season.

The Bulls have two players in the NBA's top seven in minutes per game with Luol Deng leading the league (39.6) and Joakim Noah seventh at 38.3. Barkley believes Thibodeau could learn from the way San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich manages his key players, giving them nights off for rest and closely monitoring their minutes.

"I think he has to ease up like Pop a little bit because to me (the Bulls) are still the second-best team in the Eastern Conference," Barkley said Thursday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN Chicago 1000. "I'm not a Knick believer. I'm not a Knick believer because first of all the Bulls own the Knicks because they hammer them inside. They do a really good job not leaving the three-point shooters and they just pound them inside.

"I think (Thibodeau) has got to take a step back ... there's no need for (Luol Deng to lead the NBA in minutes) especially with them being short-handed without Derrick (Rose). He's got to be like 'Let me look at the big picture. We're going to be one of the two or three best teams in the East, we're good enough to win on the road, obviously we're waiting on Derrick to come back, let me not play these guys to death like I have been doing."

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Video: Barkley on MJ-LBJ debate

October, 22, 2012

NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley talks to ESPN Chicago's "Waddle & Silvy" about his friendship with Michael Jordan and how Lebron James compares as a player.

Barkley: Titles legitimize MJ-LBJ debate

October, 22, 2012
By Staff
Charles Barkley isn't ready to say LeBron James is almost as good as was Michael Jordan, but Barkley can envision a scenario in which that argument can be made.

"If LeBron can win four or five (titles), it's a legitimate conversation in my opinion," Barkley said Monday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I never thought I would compare someone to Michael Jordan. I was like Karl Malone is great, Patrick Ewing is great, John Stockton is great, that guy's better."

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Barkley: Bulls need to take care of Thibs

September, 20, 2012
Tom ThibodeauDouglas Jones/US PresswireTom Thibodeau has led the Bulls to the NBA's best record in each of his two seasons.
Charles Barkley said Tom Thibodeau "will have a job within a week" if the Bulls can't work out a contract extension with the coach who has led Chicago to two straight seasons with the NBA's best record.

Charles Barkley joins "The Waddle & Silvy Show" to discuss Jay Cutler, the outlook for the Bulls, Tiger Woods and more.

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"I don't understand why they are not paying Thibs," Barkley said Thursday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "He's a terrific coach. Seems like a great guy. I've only bumped into him a couple times. I don't know him, but he seems like a great guy and is a hell of a coach. Let me tell you this, he'll have a job within a week if they don't take care of him. He's done a fantastic job.

"You look at that Bulls team, he's not winning with the best players. He's not winning with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. For the Bulls to have the best record (the past two seasons) and be really competitive without Derrick Rose basically for a year, he's doing a hell of a job. He deserves more credit than the Bulls are giving him."

The Bulls picked up the option year on Thibodeau's three-year deal earlier this summer and said they would work out an extension. But with training camp less than two weeks away, there is still no deal.

Thibodeau's third year in Chicago promises to be a trying one with Rose expected to miss much of this season as he recovers from surgery to repair a torn ACL. Barkley considers this season to be a wash for the Bulls, and he hopes the team will be careful with Rose's return.

"I really feel for Derrick Rose," Barkley said. "He's obviously a great player, but he's such a great kid. I just think you've got to be careful because you don't want to ruin the rest of his career. A lot of people who tear one ACL will tear the other ACL because their body is overcompensating. I think they have to be really careful with Derrick Rose. If they don't have Derrick Rose they will be back at the bottom of the pile again."

Barkley: No extension for Thibs is disgrace

August, 2, 2012
[+] EnlargeTom Thibodeau
Derick E. Hingle/US PresswireCharles Barkley said Tom Thibodeau has succeeded with the Bulls despite a roster he wouldn't describe as elite.
Charles Barkley said Thursday that it's a "disgrace" that Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has yet to receive a contract extension.

Reports surfaced during this past season that Thibodeau was unhappy he had not received an extension, and that Bulls players knew his feelings. Bulls GM Gar Forman said at the time that talks about an extension were tabled at the start of the season and would resume afterward, but no extension has been announced, although the team did pick up the option for 2013.

Thibodeau publicly has maintained that he's fine with his situation.

"I think it's a disgrace that they haven't taken care of Tom Thibodeau," Barkley said on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "This guy is unbelievable. I'm surprised they haven't given him a long ... But apparently (the Chicago Bears) screwed Matt Forte for the last year and a half. Something bout you guys in Chicago, you're all cheap, you don't want to pay people."

Barkley said the fact the Bulls have had the league's best record the last two regular seasons is a testament to Thibodeau.

"The Bulls came out of nowhere the last two years," Barkley said. "And let's be honest, (Joakim) Noah is my favorite player, you know I'm a big Derrick Rose fan, he's just a flat-out stud, but for that team to have the best record in the NBA (in 2010-11) and be right there again (in '11-12), and I have to tell you something, it ain't like they have a bunch of (butt-kickers) on that team, I might add. They just play great defense, and they play with great energy. But when you stack up the Bulls against the elite teams, they're not the most talented bunch in the world."

Even without that talent, however, Barkley believes the Bulls can compete with Rose out while rehabbing his surgically repaired left ACL. Whether they can compete for a title is another question.

"I think they can win 50 games," he said. "The question is: Are they legitimate contenders? They're going to be so well coached, and everybody on that team plays hard, I think they're going to win 50 games.

"If you play defense like they play, and you play with great energy ... I think hard work and playing hard is probably ... One of the reasons a lot of the teams in the NBA such is they go for talent instead of substance. There are a bunch of players in the NBA who can't play, who you can't win with. But if you play hard and smart like the Bulls are going to, they're going to win some games that they probably shouldn't win. But the question is going to be: Are they legit contenders? That's the big question."
Michael Jordan & LeBron JamesUS PresswireCharles Barkley believes MJ would have a harder time covering LBJ than the other way around.
Charles Barkley joined "Waddle & Silvy" and discussed the ascension of LeBron James and how the Miami Heat star compares to Michael Jordan and other NBA greats..

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Bosh, Heat don't care Barkley likes Bulls

April, 12, 2012
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CHICAGO -- Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh said Thursday he and his teammates don't care what Charles Barkley and others say about them after Barkley recently claimed the Chicago Bulls were better than the Heat.

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Barkley: Thibs should be highly paid

April, 11, 2012
Tom ThibodeauAP Photo/Jim PrischingCharles Barkley believes Tom Thibodeau should be among the top five highest-paid coaches.
Include Charles Barkley in the chorus of people who believe the Chicago Bulls should give coach Tom Thibodeau a lucrative extension.

"I don't know what you're doing in Chicago with your coach, it's just incredible with what he's done," Barkley said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. " For that team to have the best record in the NBA is ridiculous.

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Barkley likes Bulls over Heat in East finals

April, 11, 2012
Luol Deng Dennis Wierzbicki/US PresswireCharles Barkley said LeBron James would have to play like MJ to beat the Bulls.
Charles Barkley believes the Eastern Conference finals will be an entertaining and competitive series, but he's convinced there will be a new team advancing to the NBA Finals this year.

"I thought the (Bulls' win over the New York Knicks on Tuesday) with Rip Hamilton playing well was a great sign," Barkley said Wednesday on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on ESPN 1000. "I really think they're the best team in the East.

"When they play Miami, it's going to be a knock-down, drag-out ..."

The Heat beat the Bulls in five games in last year's conference finals before falling to the Dallas Mavericks. The Bulls and Heat split two games so far in the regular season and play again at the United Center on Thursday.

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Barkley weighs in on Rip, MVP and MJ

March, 1, 2012
Richard HamiltonJonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesRichard 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:

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Derrick Rose
15.9 4.3 0.5 31.1
ReboundsJ. Noah 11.3
AssistsJ. Noah 5.4
StealsJ. Butler 1.9
BlocksJ. Noah 1.5