Charles Barkley rips ESPN's coverage of Dan Hurley, Lakers speculation amid NBA, NHL playoffs


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Basketball great Charles Barkley is a fan of Dan Hurley, the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the NBA Finals. But he isn’t a fan of ESPN’s coverage of those topics as of late. 

During an appearance on OutKick’s “Don’t @ Me with Dan Dakich,” Barkley was asked about the speculation surrounding UConn men’s basketball coach Dan Hurley potentially becoming the Los Angeles Lakers’ new head coach. 

UConn head coach Dan Hurley celebrates cutting the net after his team’s win over Purdue in the men’s NCAA national championship game in Glendale, Arizona, on April 8. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

But before he could get into his thoughts on the topic, Barkley took an opportunity to tear into ESPN’s coverage, particularly with how it relates to the network broadcasting both the Stanley Cup Final and the NBA Finals. 

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“I love Danny Hurley, I love what he’s doing at UConn. But I was so mad at ESPN yesterday. I’m not going to lie. I love Danny Hurley — this has nothing to do with Danny Hurley and good luck to him if he goes to the Lakers — but I was so p—ed,” Barkley told Dakich. 

“With Game 1 of the [NBA] Finals and Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals coming on, for them to spend the first hour talking about ‘What if Danny Hurley goes to the Lakers,’ I was so pissed yesterday I had to turn my TV off.”

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Edmonton Oilers players stand for the national anthem before Game 6 of the Western Conference Final of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Dallas Stars at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, on Sunday. (Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

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“This is how stupid they are,” he continued. “Y’all got the Stanley Cup Finals and the NBA Finals and y’all are talking about a team that’s irrelevant. Whoever’s doing that programming got to be the stupidest, most bonehead[ed] people in the world.” 

“You got those games as a network, and you spent the whole time talking about ‘What if Danny Hurley goes to the Lakers?’ I’m like, ‘What kind of idiots are running this network?’”

Barkley did eventually revisit the question. He sang Hurley’s praises, before adding that any move to the Lakers would require star player LeBron James’ “approval.” 

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TNT basketball analyst Charles Barkley appears on air before the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Final Four semifinal game between the Purdue Boilermakers and the North Carolina State Wolfpack at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on April 6. (Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

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Hurley, who led the Huskies to back-to-back national championships this year, was set to meet with Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and vice president of basketball operations Rob Pelinka in Southern California on Friday, ESPN reported, citing sources. 

The reported mutual interest from both sides follows earlier reports that the Lakers have also strongly considered former NBA player and current ESPN analyst J.J. Redick. 

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