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The Charles Barkley-LaVar Ball beef added a new chapter Friday night prior to UCLA’s first round NCAA tournament game against Kent State.
Barkley, working as a studio analyst for CBS and TNT during the tournament, took a UCLA-Kent State preview segment as an opportunity to take some more shots at LaVar, whose son, Lonzo, stars for UCLA. During a commercial break, he slid a Kent State jersey over his dress shirt and tie:
“I have some animosity toward the UCLA program at this particular moment,” Barkley said with a wry smile. When asked by his colleagues to explain further, he stayed vague. “I got bitter anger and animosity toward certain people affiliated — not the players.”
Then Barkley gradually, at the prompting of Kenny Smith and the others, expanded on the beef with LaVar:
“The one who can’t play, who averages two whole points a game,” Barkley said of LaVar. “He exploded to average two points a game.” That, of course, is a reference to LaVar’s college career, when he averaged 2.2 points in one season at Washington State before transferring to a Division II school.
“The camera gon’ keep following him around — let me rephrase, he gon’ be following the camera around,” Barkley said. “I need them to lose so we quit showing him. So go Golden Flashes.”
Barkley said he’d continue to wear the jersey of UCLA’s opponents as long as the Bruins remain in the tournament — as he should. This is what marks Chuck great. Is he the best analyst? No. But is he an entertainer? Absolutely.
Previously in LaVar Ball vs. Charles Barkley, Barkley called Ball’s comments about his son being better than Steph Curry “stupidity.”
Ball fired back: “If Charles thought like me, maybe he’d win a championship,” he told Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd. “Oh yeah, it hurt because he’s saying sometimes when stuff comes out of people’s mouth is just stupid. Guess what? You talking, too.”
Barkley later challenged Ball to a one-on-one game. Ball has said he’d beat Michael Jordan one-on-on. Here’s hoping we get at least one of those matchups sometime in the near future.
More March Madness coverage from Yahoo Sports:
• Controversial flagrant foul call costs Seton Hall NCAA game
• Arkansas player credits success to his dad locking him out
• Las Vegas goes nuts over wild NCAA game ending
• Meet Duke’s biggest villains … in Lego form