Charles Barkley on Mazzulla’s ‘defense’: “I would have beaten him.”

Last night, in the fourth quarter of the game between Boston and Phoenix, Joe Mazzulla contested a Royce O’Neale shot that came just after a timeout had been called, thus with play stopped. It often happens that players contest or even block shots attempted without effort by opponents at a standstill, a way to keep them out of the rhythm-game. Mazzulla did the same, with the difference being that coaches do not usually behave this way.

At the end of the game Mazzulla explained why his behavior, which made everyone laugh a little except Charles Barkley. Indeed, Sir Charles criticized the Celtics coach’s gesture, stating that, in O’Neale’s place, he would have physically assaulted him.

“I would have hit him, I’m not going to lie to you. I would have hit him, I’ll tell you why I didn’t like what he did. What if you had stepped on his ankle or seriously injured him? You can’t do something like that, come on!” said Charles Barkley in the TNT studio amid laughter from his colleagues. The former Suns star also said, finding concurrence from Kenny Smith, that “Doing it in the 1990s would not have been a good idea.”.

Francesco Manzi
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