Charles Barkley rarely holds back.
This week was no exception during an appearance on Zach Lowe's "The Lowe Post" podcast.
During discussions with the organization at the time, Barkley says he was unwilling to accept anything less than full autonomy over front-office decisions, including staffing and draft choices. I'm not going to lie. Me and Karl Malone.
Moreover, because the Rockets didn't win a championship in any of those seasons, it's all the more convenient for Barkley to use that example in hindsight.
Barkley made the proclamation when Lowe pressed him about criticism of Kevin Durant teaming up with the Golden State Warriors team he couldn't beat in the playoffs to win his National Basketball Association championships. "I said, 'I want complete control, '" Barkley explained.
Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Julius Erving Golf Classic (PGD Global Event)"My agent calls me one morning and he says 'hey, you're going to get traded to the Lakers today.' And me and my friends, we go out and celebrate and get drunk around noon.... I think I might have played so bad because I was so angry the Sixers didn't pull the trigger, and then it's just suffering the next two or three years".
Barkley joining the Rockets, of course, was an entirely different situation than Durant's. Barkley, Olajuwon and Drexler were all on the downside of their careers during Barkley's tenure in Houston. As was Scottie Pippen when he joined in 1998.
Had the Rockets advanced to the Finals and beat the Chicago Bulls after Barkley joined Houston via a trade in 1996 with the Phoenix Suns, it would have been significantly more impressive. He always has some amusing stories to tell and isn't shy to give his very honest truth about everything that is happening in the league. But even in reruns, Barkley's nearly always interesting.