• Charles Barkley predicted that the media will blame Brooklyn Nets head coach Steve Nash
  • The Boston Celtics were able to easily sweep the Nets to move on to the second round
  • Barkley sent a parting blow to the Nets and questioned how they will shape their future

The Brooklyn Nets’ tumultuous season came to a screeching halt in an embarrassing opening-round sweep at the hands of the Boston Celtics, and Charles Barkley proposed some must-answer questions going into next season on the latest episode of “Inside the NBA.”

The NBA Hall of Famer did not shy away from baring his disappointment with the Nets while also noting how most of the media will pin the blame on head coach Steve Nash, like how they did with then-Los Angeles Lakers coach Frank Vogel.

“We’ve got a lot of cowards in the media, just like those cowards in L.A. blaming everything on Frank Vogel, they’re going to start blaming Steve Nash. I think we saw Steve Nash pull every card he had,” Barkley said.

“His two best players didn’t play well, plain and simple. His third-best player, we don’t know where he’s at,” he continued.

Nets stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving combined for 59 points in the Game 4 loss, with Durant putting up 31 shots and making 13 while Irving had 6-of-13 from the floor.

As for their third-best player whom Barkley was referring to, Ben Simmons has not suited up for the Nets at any point this season, which has led the former Phoenix Suns forward to question how they plan to be competitive going into next year.

“The problem they got going forward: three guys are going to be making $50 million. Now, how are they going to find those other pieces is the question. Who’s going to want to play on that team?” Barkley remarked.

He continued, “You’re going to have a bunch of mediocre players, two guys who are great players and Ben [Simmons], we don’t know where the hell he’s at. They’re going to have a hard time winning with just three players.”

The Nets go into the offseason with a total of nine free agents: five unrestricted, two restricted and two, Irving and Patty Mills, on player options.

Re-signing unrestricted shooting guard Bruce Brown is surely going to be their number one priority as his performance to close out the season showed the Nets that he is integral to their future.

However, the Nets will be hard-pressed to find other complementary pieces to their core of Durant, Irving and Simmons as they have tied up most of their cap space to their stars, as Barkley noted.

For the Celtics, they now await the winner of the series between the Milwaukee Bucks and the Chicago Bulls, with Game 5 happening Wednesday as the Bucks look to close out the series at the Bulls’ home floor.

Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley poses for a picture with his sculpture at the Philadelphia 76ers training facility on September 13, 2019 in Camden, New Jersey. Mitchell Leff/Getty Images