NBA Legend Charles Barkley Says He Turned His TV Off Over ESPN’s Bias to Lakers Over the Denver Nuggets

By Shawn Patrick on May 24, 2023
Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

As I watched the NBA’s Western Conference Finals I kept thinking the announcers for ESPN during the games were very pro-Lakers, but even before and after games it seemed the network only cared about the team getting beat in the series, not the one actually winning games. I also know I am biased as a Nuggets fan, so I didn’t make much of it… But now I know I wasn’t wrong!

NBA legend and TNT analyst Charles Barkley said during Game 4 coverage of the Eastern Conference Finals that he was not happy ESPN, the network broadcasting the Nuggets-Lakers series, focused on LeBron James’ possible retirement instead of the 2023 Western Conference champions.

“I was so mad this morning I actually turned the TV off,” Barkley said. “We all love LeBron, he ain’t retired yet. When he does we’ll do all that other… we’ll do that stuff. It should have been all about the Denver Nuggets and Joker, Jamal Murray, Michael Porter and those guys.”

After the Game 4 victory over the Lakers, one Twitter sleuth determined that ESPN showed the celebrating Nuggets for a total of four seconds, followed by 90 seconds of LeBron and the other Lakers leaving the court.

Another posted a video of an ESPN SportsCenter anchor suggesting the Nuggets advancing to the Finals was a “subplot” to James’ career potentially ending.

“But it’s hard not to make that [the Nuggets’ first NBA Finals appearance] the subplot,” the anchor said. “LeBron maybe having played his final game?” “I’m sure we’ll hear a lot more about LeBron James,” his co-anchor said.

Here’s Barkley talking about the network’s bias towards the Lakers…

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