Hall of Famer and NBA analyst Charles Barkley first wanted to to “take [his] hat off” to Russell Westbrook and Paul George — before the TNT team started marveling and oohing and ahhing at the insanely great 50-point series-clinching performance by Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers. The Lillard highlights are amazing, but so are many of the OKC Thunder highlights — because the Thunder were up 105-90 before crumbling.
“They gotta be a lot smarter,” Barkley allowed. But still he wanted to defend Westbrook, who takes a whole lot of criticism when the Thunder stumble. (Westbrook recorded 29 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists in the loss.)
“A lot of people criticize Russell Westbrook,” Barkley said. “Let me say this — he can play on my team anytime…He’s not perfect…but they gave all they had, you gotta respect that.”