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Thunder: 'Sir Charles' Barkley says Thunder will not win NBA championship

In fact, Barkley said Oklahoma City does not have the best team in the Western Conference. He criticizes Thunder's lack of execution in halfcourt sets and Russell Westbrook's shot selection.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: February 26, 2012
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ORLANDO, Fla. — Charles Barkley is sticking to his script.

The Oklahoma City Thunder, he says, doesn't play a brand of basketball conducive to playoff success.

As for his shtick, well, don't expect Barkley to scrap that anytime soon, either.

It seems the Thunder, and the state of Oklahoma in general, will continue to be Barkley's personal punching bag. But the Hall of Famer and longtime TNT analyst insists his persistent pokes aren't personal.

“I don't dislike anybody. I'm giving my basketball opinion,” Barkley told The Oklahoman following Saturday night's Slam Dunk Contest. “I don't like their halfcourt offense. That's just strictly a basketball opinion.”

Despite the Thunder sitting atop the Western Conference standings with a 27-7 record that ties Miami for the best league's best mark, Barkley has maintained that the Thunder is not even the best team in the West and cannot win a championship this season.

Last year, Barkley dismissed the Thunder because of the team's erratic defense and rebounding.

This year, his reasoning consistently has been that the Thunder doesn't execute well enough offensively in halfcourt sets, the team has just three legitimate scoring threats in Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden and each of them primarily are jump shooters. Barkley also has been highly critical of Westbrook's shot selection.

“Obviously, I've got great respect for Kevin,” Barkley said. “I really would like to see them win. Scott Brooks and Maurice Cheeks are two of my best friends. But I just don't like their halfcourt offense. I don't think they get enough easy baskets when the game slows down.”

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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