Indiana Pacers president of basketball operations called out his team for its passive play earlier this season. Now, after their upset defeat to the Atlanta Hawks in the first game of the playoffs, the Pacers hear it from another Hall of Famer with perhaps an even bigger mouth than Larry Legend.
“I’ve got to vent, America,” Charles Barkley told his TNT audience on Sunday. “I know it’s early, but I’ve got to call out somebody: The Indiana Pacers. You guys talk all that noise all year, ‘We want homecourt,’ and then you come out last night night and play like dogs. You’ve got Larry Bird in your front office, you’ve got a terrific coach in Frank Vogel. But to come out and play like wussies the last month of the season. You get a fresh start, to come out at home last night, I was dissapointed because I’m an Indiana fan, for everything y’all stand for, but to come out and play like flat wussies, and I’m only calling you guys ‘wussies’ because I don’t want to get the FCC pissed off at me.”
The Pacers played sub-.500 ball in March and April to close the season 12-13 in their last 25 games. The talented team’s streaky play has cause many to question their commitment and their chemistry. Despite the poor closing, the Pacers play as the top seed in a wide-open Eastern Conference playoffs.
The Pacers host the Hawks for game 2 on Tuesday night, and Sir Charles will be watching. “Come on, man, you’re better than that. You’re embarrassing Coach Vogel and the great Larry Bird.”