NBA

Barkley wants his shot at being a general manager

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NEW YORK (AP)

Charles Barkley thinks he can do better than some of the general managers he criticizes on TV.

The Hall of Fame player and TNT analyst said Monday he'd like his chance to run an NBA team, though he's in no rush because he'd want the right job.

"I think that it'd be fun to try to build my own team," Barkley said at a luncheon, joined by studio partners Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson. "We talk about it all the time. Sometimes we say, 'What is that guy doing? Why did he draft that guy? Why did he make a trade for that guy?'

"Some of these guys have done a bad job, plain and simple."

Barkley was critical of the Minnesota Timberwolves, who under new team president David Kahn took point guards with the Nos. 5-6 picks in the draft, then signed point guard Ramon Sessions in free agency. He compared the Wolves' draft strategy to when the Detroit Lions kept spending high draft picks on wide receivers.

The 46-year-old Barkley planned to do TV for only a couple of years, but is now in his 10th season with TNT. He's in no hurry to leave for a team executive job that opened up, because some of them wouldn't give him an opportunity to be successful.

"Every job ain't a good job," said Barkley, who said he wouldn't take any position unless he was given complete control of basketball decisions, because some owners aren't interested in winning.

Smith also is interested and has interviewed for some positions. He doesn't think he or Barkley are hurt by not having previous experience working for a team.

"Every day you can hear what we say about your team, what your team is. You know our philosophy. If you follow basketball, it's not like you don't know Charles and myself. You can't not know us and you can't not know how we think," Smith said. "We're just in a unique situation where we're interviewed every night."

Barkley has seen some of his contemporaries try and fail as team executives. Isiah Thomas was fired after a horrible tenure running the New York Knicks, and even Michael Jordan, Barkley's good friend, is regularly criticized for his inability to build a winner in Washington and Charlotte.

Nevertheless, Barkley said he's not worried about becoming another guy getting blasted on the air.

"I want that challenge, and honestly, this business, it ain't brain surgery," he said.

"I tell guys, this is never personal. If you win, they're going to write good things about you. If you don't, they're going to write bad things about you. That's just how it is. It ain't right, it ain't wrong, and some of my peers have not done a good job, and that's just the truth."

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