Charles Barkley says players should ‘shut the hell up and play’ when it comes to load management


Charles Barkley is back and at it again! One of the most important icons of basketball journalism appears to be more than ready for this new NBA season, and is already airing out his frustrations as he sees fit. This time, he’s out to get all those players who’ve made load management such a controversial subject in recent years.

These athletes are costing the league more than know when they sit out games even when healthy just to secure more rest for their bodies. The former Suns star is not a fan of this behavior, as he remembers players back in the day would never miss out on the opportunity to compete.

Barkley recently appeared on TNT’s Inside the NBA in anticipation to Tuesday’s season opener and dedicated a strong message to all basketball athletes. “I’m talking to the players, man. Forget the ownership, forget the fans, as a player, if you’re going to make $50 or 60 million a year to play basketball three or four days a week, play basketball, man,” he said on air.

In a way, the 60-year-old was giving NBA fans a microphone to voice their frustrations over paying enormous amounts of money for tickets just to witness their favorite players from up close, only to be surprised by their absence.

“Now, if you’re injured, don’t play,” he said. “But everybody’s hurt after the first two weeks of the season. Your legs are sore, your knees are sore. If you’re injured, I don’t want you to play… Y’all have got the best shoes, you’ve got the best medical staff, you’ve got these guys sleeping in chambers, you’ve got ice baths. If you can play, shut the hell up and play.”

This summer, the league reached an important decision concerning the use of star athletes during nationally televised games and other issues around load management. The new policy gave strict guidelines involving players who were considered All-Stars or part of the All-NBA team in recent years, as no team can rest two players of this condition during the same televised-match.

Charles Barkley pressed NBA commissioner Adam Silver on live TV over ‘disturbing’ domestic violence incidents

This 2023 has been especially controversial involving NBA players’ off-court incidents, including some domestic violence cases that have gotten out of hand. The TNT panel received league commissioner Adam Silver live on Inside the NBA and Barkley took the opportunity to press him on the matter.

“I think all of the leagues are trying to address this issue. But I know, our players’ association, credit to them, this was an adversary,” Silver responded. “We put in place a new program for how we deal with accusations of domestic violence even before they’re prosecuted. Part of it goes to training our players, counseling of our players to make sure they understand during high-stress situations that obviously never resort to violence against anyone.”

While Houston’s Kevin Porter Jr. was put in custody after having allegedly assaulted his ex-girlfiend in New York, Charlotte’s Miles Bridges was arrested last season and then charged with three felony counts involving his immediate family.

“We’re addressing it. We have state-of-the-art counseling and professionals for our players. But of course, if a guy does cross the line, the consequences are enormous,” the NBA Commissioner guaranteed.

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