Charles Barkley Annihilates the Los Angeles Lakers for Being ‘Cowards’ and ‘Wussies’

The Los Angeles Lakers‘ 2021-22 season has been an unmitigated disaster.

Over halfway through the year, the 22-23 Lakers are barely grasping onto a spot in the play-in round, let alone competing for an NBA title. Fingers are understandably being pointed.

Of all the people receiving blame, the two leaders in the clubhouse are head coach Frank Vogel and All-Star guard Russell Westbrook. But Vogel and Westbrook can take solace in Charles Barkley passionately coming to their defense in a fiery tirade against the Purple and Gold during Thursday night’s edition of Inside the NBA.

Russell Westbrook and Frank Vogel are becoming the Lakers’ scapegoats

There are a few reasons why the Lakers are stumbling through the season. And honestly, saying a few is being extraordinarily generous.

LA has been gutted by injuries dating all the way back to the preseason. Anthony Davis is the latest victim of the injury bug, as he continues to recover from a sprained MCL. As a whole, only four players have missed fewer than 10 games, with Westbrook appearing in every contest.

Yet despite the injuries … or lackluster defense … or poorly-assembled roster comprised of eight veterans on league-minimum deals, nearly all of the blame is shifting toward Vogel and Westbrook.

Fairly or not, LA’s third-year coach is fighting for his job. Vogel is in danger of receiving the ax if the Lakers don’t begin to turn things around in a hurry. Meanwhile, Westbrook’s disappointing debut season has made him the face of LA’s struggles.

The Vogel-Westbrook drama came to a surprising climax on Wednesday after the coach benched his point guard for the majority of the fourth quarter, including the final four minutes. The decision was a desperate attempt for Vogel to save his job, while Westbrook was hit with a stern message that his grace period is over.

Charles Barkley obliterates the Lakers for cowardly placing the blame on Westbrook and Vogel

Of all of LA’s problems, Westbrook and Vogel are among them. But they’re not the biggest issues facing the Purple and Gold, or so says Barkley.

The opinionated TNT analyst deviated from a conversation about the Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks to blast the Lakers during Inside the NBA.

“The Lakers are such wussies. And I only say wussies because I can’t say the word I want to say,” Barkley stated. “The way they have tried to throw Russell Westbrook and Frank Vogel under the bus really pisses me off.”

But Chuck was far from done taking it to LA. The Hall of Famer called out the team, as well as other television personalities, for not focusing the blame on the real issue … the team’s over-the-hill, below-average roster.

“I’m not going to sit here like all these clowns on other networks that have their heads up the Lakers’ booties. Now, they’re blaming Frank Vogel and Russell Westbrook. The people up top who put that trash together are running and hiding like cowards saying, ‘It’s Frank, it’s Russ.’ They put all those old geezers out there.”

Charles Barkley

“I’m not letting this go on Frank. I like Frank, people know that. I like Russ, [although] he’s not playing great,” Barkley added. “But for everybody to get on TV and kiss up to these boys in LA, I’m like, ‘Yo, who put all of these old-a** geezers together?’ They would’ve been a hell of a team in 2010.”

Shaquille O’Neal agreed with Vogel’s decision to bench Westbrook

Aside from blasting general manager Rob Pelinka’s roster, Barkley and the crew also discussed Vogel’s decision to bench Westbrook. During the conversation, Shaquille O’Neal threw his support behind the coach, as well as his fellow TNT teammate.

“That’s the coach’s job,” O’Neal said in regards to Vogel’s lineup choice. “As a coach, sometimes you’re going to have to make that decision. I played 19 years and there were a lot of times, especially when I missed free throws, that I wasn’t in the game in the fourth quarter period.”

“So I agree with everything Chuck said,” Shaq later voiced. “Rob Pelinka put this team together and he should definitely take responsibility. … When you have an older star, you want to get younger. You don’t want to add a bunch of old guys next to him.”

With the trade deadline coming up, the Lakers have a laundry list of questions. Will LA find a taker for Westbrook? Will Vogel still be the coach? How much of Pelinka’s roster can be flipped?

The Lakers have been interesting this season, but for all of the wrong reasons.

All statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference.

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