Inside The Lakers: I’ve been meaning to post this exchange between Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith during Thursday night’s TNT doubleheader. Barkley makes it clear he’s picking the Cleveland Cavaliers over the Lakers to win the NBA championship.

Barkley on why he believes the Cavaliers will win the championship this year: “I think the Cavaliers are the team to beat this year. This is not the same Cleveland team (as last year). With the addition of Shaquille O’Neal and Antawn Jamison they are not the same team. I never thought I would pick against the Lakers, but I’m going to.”

Smith: “The L.A. Lakers and even the Lakers fans are spoiled to the fact that they have the second-best record in basketball and they are asking ‘what’s wrong in Laker land?’ That’s a little spoiled. They are an incredible basketball team.”

Barkley: “They are missing something, they really miss Trevor Ariza. Nobody wants to say that. I like Ron Artest, but he has not played well. They are going to miss Trevor Ariza. He played great in the playoffs.”

Are they right? Are the Cavs the better team and are Lakers fans spoiled?

  • Marwan Marzina

    After 1 good season and really bloomed in the playoffs, reminds you of someone who asked for alot of money to stay didnt it… oh thats right Sasha Vuajcic. He had a good season and better playoffs against Celtics and Lakers thought that would carry on and signed him for more than his worth. Just cause Trevor had 1 good season doesn't mean it would carry on to the next.
    Chuck, go eat a donut. Since when were you ever gonna pick the Lakers? You criticise Kobe and here you say you never thought you would pick against the Lakers? Wow, contradicting what you're saying. All we have here is a LeBron loving maniac whom LeBron will have the same fate as… not win a championship and grow old and fat.

    • GQ

      he's on lebron's nuts and he is jealous of kobe cuz he might get 5 while charles has none

    • airkobe

      you can't blame charles on ariza being a perfect fit on the lakers running game…ariza contribute well during playoff the still on the denver game and the trr333fic shooting agains orlando…well about artest he hasn't played a single play-off game with the lakers…lets wait till artest plays on april before we compare this two…but honestly speaking the lakers become a little bit boring this year with kobe's injury and the lost of the running game which is sometimes led by ariza's quickness and hardwork on the court…I like ron's defense but I am more entertained by ariza…by the way as ron said ariza won a ring with the lakers so let's wait for his before we compare and make charles another failure!

  • Whuuuut??!

    I don't really take Charles seriously whenever he talks about the Lakers. He always focuses on the flaws of the Lakers.
    But, what Kenny Smith said…spoiled? We're not being spoiled. It's called having a winning attitude. Our Lakers are close to being a perfect, so why not strive for it? I guess they really don't how it feels to be a Lakers fan.

    • msdnicety

      I totally agree with you about Charles, he really doesnt know what he is talking about half of the time. The lakers have flaws but what team doesnt., the difference is that the lakers are a good enough team to pull it together and pull off another championship and at the end of the day Charles is just wishing he had a championship so that he could really run his mouth. He is going by stats and injuries of lakers players and to say Kobe doesnt have it in him is wrong. Kobe is a trooper playing 4 months with a broken finger and a knee injury. I just want to slao Charles sometimes for some of the stupid shit he says.

  • LakeSuperior24

    Trevor fits better than Artest does with the lakers against every team except: Cavs, Bos, Den, and possibly Orl. Having Trevor means more regular season wins, but I believe Artest means more playoff wins.

    Nearly everyone was picking the Cavs at the end of the regular season last year, and definitely heading into the conference final rounds of the playoffs. The Cavs have yet to prove that they can beat Bos or Orl, and this year they will probably have to beat both, and their reward??? The Lakers with a quicker Artest, who won't be bullied, and provides more physical confidence for the Lakers. Has anyone else noticed the effect Artest has had on Odom's mentality?

    • stucktrader

      agreed. Artest has brought real toughness to the team… I think the Lakers are somewhat bored unless they play a tough team.

      i do think the Cavs will have to overcome Orlando… Boston though is done… which is a bummer. i wanted the Lakers to beat down on them.

      I think the key to this team is actually Odom. If the Lakers get to the Finals… Artest probably can't keep up with Lebron the whole time, but the same can be said of who will guard Odom.

      Kobe will get his… but definitely, this year with his injuries has been difficult for the team.

  • stucktrader

    Forget worrying about the Cavs… Get to the Finals first… The Cavs still have a hard time with Orlando. And who knows which Atlanta & Milwaukee teams will show

    • pau

      Didn't he pick them last year as well. I love Charles but I think he's one of the many that want to see the Lakers fail. But, I totally agree that both teams have to make it that far in the first place.

      • Kobe

        he picked Orlando over us in the finals…

  • Ryan WHite

    Yes Us Laker fans are spoiled rotten but we have I mean look at what we have had. When you give the fans nothing but the best from day 1 it's only natural for us to expect the best every year. Now are the cavs the better team. YES! We cannot say they arent because they beat us twice this season. So if they lose before reaching the finals or in the finals to us then we can call them the lesser team but as of now they beat us twice and have a better record.

  • trippleocho

    What's this guy's problem with the Lakers and Kobe?


    Well you gotta admit that he's consistent. He's always picking against the Lakers and that's fine coz every time he does, the Lakers win! So keep on hatin' Chuck and I'll send you a year's supply of Taco Bell boxes which will probably last like a week. Now I don't even want the Celdicks to reach the Finals. I wanna see the Cavs and beat those guys and prove to them (media) once more that Kobe ain't goin out like that. I'm with Kobe when he doesn't say anything negative, and prove once and for all that LeBrick isn't there yet. He just needs to lead his team to the Glory Land of trophies and championship rings.

  • 151rummer

    Charles is what makes tht show worth watching…..but the cavs and lakers have to get their first. Ihave a feeling when the playoffs start, the lakers will kick it into high-gear. Is that the way a championship team should play? Of course not…but if it means a title at the end of the season I know all laker fans will take it. Charles never got a ring so I dont put too much stock into what he says…he is funny as hell tho!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Juice

    Yo Charlie! Why don't you go PICK YOUR NOSE! Trust me, you'll be better at that than picking game winners! How's that been for you so far huh, you degenerate gambler! Have you paid that debt to the casinos yet, you sorry excuse for a human being!

  • kobe-wan kenobi

    this year cavs are best team and have the best player
    hopefully i am wrong, but i dont see lakers (if they can get to the finals) winning in cleveland,
    when our big are scared to get contact w snaq

    of course mo killing our pgs and artest not being effective defending bron are other things to be aware of

    oh yeah and the fact cavs are one of the best 3 point shooter, which they ll have plenty when we double lbj…

    damn go magic

  • laallday213

    Charles is my favorite guy on the show, just cus he keeps us entertained with his jokes. But whenever it comes down to basketball knowledge, I always favor Kenny, since he has won a few rings and knows exactly what it takes. Besides, Chuck NEVER makes any sense lol!

  • Won A Ring For The King

    Charles is right, it's all Cavs this year.
    The Lakers are missing:
    1. A charismatic leader that they like and respect
    (they respect Kobe, but most of them don't like the dude. Josh Powell and Vujabitch are on the Kobe nut sack, but that's about it. Well, except for most Lakers fans.)
    2. A hustle guy
    Why isn't Mbenga playing more? Do you Laker fans see the positive impact Mbenga has on the defensive end? Why? Because he hustles. The Lakers are starving for a hustle guy.
    3. A bench
    The Laker bench is horrible.

    Cavs in 6.

    • MB

      Your comments are rediculous. Shaq is fat and over weight and there searching for answers to beat Orlando! Its people like you who sound so dumb and should stay off the lakers forum!

      • Won A Ring For The King

        1. I broke down my argument with three easy points even you could understand. You, on the other hand, immediately went to the “Shaq is fat” and “you're so dumb” routine, failing to back-up your argument.
        2. Just because I'm picking the Cavs to take care of the Lakers in six games, doesn't mean that I should “stay off the lakers forum”. What, you only want to hear what you want to hear?
        3. You say my comments are ridiculous. Well, break it down player!…

        • lakersg1

          Charles is right, it's all Cavs this year.
          The Lakers are missing:
          1. A charismatic leader that they like and respect
          How many rings does you charismatic leader have oh wait…Zero. And how many rings does the hated Bryant ya i will leave that to your. If lakers had any problem with bryant it would have shown last year when they were kicking magics but unlike some one i know.

          2. A hustle guy
          Why isn't Mbenga playing more? Do you Laker fans see the positive impact Mbenga has on the defensive end? Why? Because he hustles. The Lakers are starving for a hustle guy.

          Hhahhah typical. Dj a hustler..since when? BTw have you have heard of Ron artest or Shannon brown ? Lakers have enough guys who can hustle but what can i expect from a cavs fan who doesnt watch the actual games but just listen to charles barkely SMH.
          3. A bench
          The Laker bench is horrible.
          Lakers had horrible bench last year too. So..?

          • Won A Ring For The King

            1. It's not a secret that Kobe is respected around the league, but he will never be hugable lovable bear you want to hug. On the charisma scale of 0-10, he's around a 2.
            2. Ask any Laker fan if they think that Mbenga hustles when he gets minutes. DJ Mbenga is out there hustling on D every chance he gets. That's why he challenges everything around the basket and gets so many blocked shots, in very limited minutes.
            3. The notions that Shannon Brown is a hustle guy is so ridiculous and laughable that I will not even discuss it with you.
            4. Yes, the Laker bench was bad last year also, but the Cavs got better. So your argument that LA won it all with this crappy bench last year, therefore it doesn't matter this year is innacurate. The Cavs added Shaq, still have Ilguascus, added Jamison and fortified the bench with Powe (who killed LA during the Finals a couple of years ago). In other words, the Cavs got better and LA kept the same horrible bench in place.
            The best hope is to have the Magic or Hawks take out the Cavs, then LA can win again. Otherwise, it's going to be Cavs over the Lakers in 6.

  • Laker101

    I guess what people have to undrstand is that Barkley is on that show to stirr things up. Havent you noticed that he says a lot of controversial things to get ratings. Thats just the guy he is on the show. + he doesnt seem like the smartest of people, lol

  • kevin3233

    that fatass bitch needs to stfu b4 i make him stfu

  • kevin3233

    that fatasss nigga needs to stfu b4 i make him stfu



  • mytiman

    Gotta go with Charles on this one. The Cavs are just playing awesome basketball for the last 10 games, without a true center (Shaq out and Z just returning). It all starts and ends with LeBron James. Plus, who currently has the better record between them and the Lakers? And who swept the season series between the two?

    The Lakers are playing like they're just happy to be in the playoffs. Please do remember we have an All Star in Pau Gasol, great sixth man in Lamar, and the best closer of the game in Kobe. But the Lakers are just not meshing their talent really well, much like last year's team. This is a team that can go 73-9 and easily coast through the playoffs. But for some reason, we can't see that happening.

  • Robert

    Charles, ESPN, etc. have to build up Cavs for the NBA. Stern wants to generate $$$. They have to make this a rivalry. Charles is the perfect mole to do this. He makes odd comments, so people will think it is normal when he says something like this.
    But, they're building up LeBrick so much, that when he doesn't win, it will be a big fall. They should stop doing that. It's a ratings game, and also ESPN, TNT, etc. are mostly east coast, and the Lakers are too far west to be liked by anyone on these networks. (there are a few, though, like Colin Cowherd who is a Kobe fan).
    In the meantime, Charles comments (and Kenny's) are great fuel for the Lakers. They don't need to play like maniacs now – they can really coast into the playoffs, but it might be good to win a few games.
    Personally, I think that no matter how much NBA fodder they use to plug up the Cav's holes, there will always be a weakness that is easy to exploit. They are all 'reigned in' to LeBron – so – they live by the sword – and they will die by the sword. You will see at least one team in the East push them to the limit in the playoffs. The Lakers, however, will turn on the switch, only if they need to (or want to).

  • lakerman34

    call me crazy, I think we are an even better team this year than last, when healthy. more experience, and better defensively. this season is gonna be a testament to the saying “offense wins games, defense wins championships,” and our defense will prevail.

    the cavs are gonna be a valiant opponent, but in the end, there isnt a single team in the league that can beat is in 4 outta 7 games. no way in hell.

    and look for us to get EVEN BETTER this summer. everybody thinks the lakers are gonna stay put, but even with a championship, dr. jerry buss is probably not sitting well w/ how close other teams are to us. i see a blockbuster this offseason. look for pau or bynum or even odom to be traded off for a cp3 (collison has proven he can start in NO) or a chris bosh.

    call me crazy.

    i think we have the larry o'brien for at least the next 2 seasons.

  • Pac Div

    The Cavs are like the Colts, they're great in the regular season, but once the postseason hits they can't handle the pressure.

  • lakers0828

    Yeah as of Right Now I have to agree with my man Ryan White they have been the better team and Lakers have just been desimated with injuries never been able to get on a good role and there Bench has been as great as it was last yr so to me Right now Cleveland is looking like there finally going to win there title.

  • Dan Andreas

    Everyone's missing the point here: The Cavs are not better than the Lakers, but they won't have to be if the meet them in the Finals.

    The Finals, as everyone knows, are set up in the 2-3-2 format. Now, in the 1st, 2nd, and even 3rd Rounds, it is possible for the lower seeded team to beat the higher seeded team by simply winning one road game and sweeping their home games (Games 3-4, Game 6). In the Finals for this to happen, the “lower seeded team” is asked to not just sweep their home games, but beat a team that is their peer THREE TIMES IN A ROW. A feat so difficult, this has only been done ONCE since it's inception (Yes once, don't throw that Dwyane Wade Miami Heat stuff at me, a referee named Salvatore made that 2006 one possible).

    So since this is so difficult, the NBA is essentially asking the team who doesn't have homecourt advantage to win TWO games on the road. Which is what makes winning Games 1 or 2 on the road so important. Because more than likely, you'll have to win one more in a hard fought 6 or 7 game series (Remember Lakers 2008? Having to win games 6 AND 7 because we dropped Game 1 and laid an egg in Game 2? Two road games have to come from somewhere). I'm not saying it's impossible. The Lakers can do it, and I figure IF they do see Cleveland, they probably will take that first or second game (no way they drop 4 in a row to Cleveland this season). But it does make their journey more difficult not having homecourt advantage. No 5 game “give me that trophy you pathetic excuse for a Finals opponent” series this year.

    So Charles' opinion does use logic. BUT, this is all assuming Cleveland gets by Orlando. Which is a big IF since we've all heard this story about LeBron before, and he got absolutely DESTROYED last year. And in my opinion, Orlando got better…

  • Marwan Marzina

    “Find out what Charles Barkley is doing, who he's putting his money on and do the opposite” – Chris Bosh

  • kris