There are few jobs that are as polarizing as NBA GM. There are some great ones and there are some awful ones and few in between.
There are few announcers who say what they think like Charles Barkley.
While Barkley has had an incredibly successful run as the loudmouth opinion machine on TNT’s Inside the NBA and NBA coverage, he admitted he is looking for his next challenge. Whether it is all talk or something he will actually pursue is another thing.
Barkley, who once stated he would like to run for governor of Alabama, wants to be an NBA general manager. And lucky for us, he holds so many general managers in such high esteem:
“I want to do it. I had a couple of casual conversations, not this year or last year, but like three years ago when I first mentioned that I wanted to be a GM,” Barkley told The Waddle and Silvy Show on ESPN Chicago. “At this rate I feel like I am going to be to be honest with you. I want that challenge. I am not afraid to fail. Trust me some of these other GM’s suck already. I’ll just be in a long line of guys who suck.”
No one would argue with Barkley, there are plenty of general managers who make lots of boneheaded moves that keep their franchises in the cellar for long periods of time. They often are ripe for Barkley’s sharp criticism (even his friend Michael Jordan as he revealed later in the interview).
So why would Barkley want to join those ranks?
Part of it certainly is the challenge of trying to build and run a team. It is something different and it keeps Barkley in the limelight in a competitive environment. But would Barkley be as good at it as he is with his TV job? That seems unlikely.
Barkley probably does not have the temperament to be an NBA general manager. Most general managers are guys who do what their owners tell them to do and are “company men” so to speak. Barkley is not getting in a suit and tie for anyone. And he certainly is not going to watch what he says.
Barkley recognizes that criticism comes with the territory, and that might be step one in the self-evaluation process before going for a general manager position.
Still you have to wonder if this is something Barkley actually wants to do or if he is just talking. And you have to wonder what owner would hire Barkley to run their team.
My guess: not many.