October 24th was a day to rejoice for NBA fans.
This marked the start of the regular season, featuring two games as part of the league’s tip-off.
The Denver Nuggets took on the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Phoenix Suns matched up with the Golden State Warriors in what turned out to be two high-profile games.
Despite the NBA being back and a sense of general excitement, Charles Barkley was in a bad mood.
Barkley’s crew on TNT was discussing the state of the league, particularly about the current load management techniques that are being employed.
In a fit of outrage, Barkley said “If you’re going to make $50-$60 million to play basketball 3 or 4 days a week, play basketball, man.”
"If you're going make $50-$60 million a year to play basketball 3 or 4 days a week, play basketball man. Now if you're injured, don't play… If you can play, shut the hell up and play."
Charles Barkley on load management 🗣pic.twitter.com/aA3VG7BGUs
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) October 24, 2023
He added, “If you can play, shut the hell up and play.”
Load management is a growing concern among NBA pundits.
Barkley’s outrage is the latest example of this, as more and more stars sit on the bench in crucial moments for their teams.
LeBron James, for instance, only played for 29 minutes in the Lakers’ opening game against the Nuggets.
This is a far cry from his career average of 38.1 minutes per game.
Players like James are what bring fans to arenas.
He has been in the league for a long time, and many young fans have modeled their games after James’ playstyle.
When players of his caliber sit out due to load management concerns, it robs those fans of additional opportunities to see their favorite players in action throughout a whole game.NEXT: Paul Pierce Predicts The 2024 NBA Finals