HOUSTON, TEXAS – APRIL 04: Former NBA player and commentator Charles Barkley looks on prior to the 2016 NCAA Men’s Final Four National Championship game between the Villanova Wildcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels at NRG Stadium on April 4, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Many people are tired of hearing Charles Barkley’s opinions, but that’s not stopping The Round Mound of Rebound from continuing to bash the modern NBA. The league has extended the length of the 2017-18 season to give teams more rest days and reduce the number of back-to-backs, but Barkley believes NBA players don’t deserve the luxury of extra rest when they’re making upwards of $30 million.

During an SMU athletic forum on Wednesday, Barkley sarcastically praised the NBA, commending the league for not stressing the “poor babies” in the league too much:

While it’s impossible to know for sure, for years now folks have speculated that the NBA’s grueling, 82-game season takes too big a toll on players’ bodies. So when a guy like LeBron James, who played 38 minutes per game last season and shouldered his team through the playoffs once again, you can understand that he’s not just being a wimp.

Extending the NBA season is a win-win for the players and the league. The NBPA got to exercise its bargaining power in an effort to keep players healthier, and the league will (hopefully) need to worry less about teams randomly resting healthy star players, particularly in televised games. And if teams keep on resting healthy players, a new proposal could allow commissioner Adam Silver to fine them.

Barkley’s opinion isn’t surprising. He’s far from the only former player to bash current NBA players for being too weak. But the NBA is a star-oriented league, and maintaining the health of players is a small price to pay when the only downside is taking fire from ex-players like Barkley, who likely would have jumped at the chance for a similar schedule in his own playing days.

About Jesse Kramer

Jesse is a writer and editor for The Comeback. He has also worked for SI.com and runs The Catch and Shoot, a college basketball website based in Chicago. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Follow Jesse on Twitter @Jesse_Kramer.

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