Charles Barkley doesn’t mince words: Magic won’t make playoffs
With a new head coach and plenty of young talent, it would seem there's reason for optimism for the Orlando Magic. Some might even consider the 2015-16 version of the team to be a darkhorse playoff contender.
Don't count Charles Barkley among that group, however. In a conference call to promote the start of the NBA season on TNT, the former NBA player and current commentator offered his take on Orlando's chances this year — and he didn't pull any punches (via the Orlando Sentinel):
Former Magic star Shaquille O'Neal, on the other hand, was a little bit kinder, particularly when it comes to his former teammate, current Magic coach Scott Skiles:
However, O'Neal allowed that the Magic are in a rebuilding year still and that it might take a year or two for Skiles “to get his feet wet.”
“Orlando’s not going to make the playoffs,” Barkley said. “They’re not one of the eight best teams in the Eastern Conference, so they’re not going to make the playoffs. They’re building for the future. I like Scott Skiles. But they’ve just got to build for the future. We’re living in the present, bro. Orlando’s not going to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference this year.”
“Scott Skiles is a feisty individual,” O’Neal said. “You know, he’s a fighter. I just hope he can relate to today’s youth, because we are in a different time. We are at a different game. And I think he will be able to relate to the young guys, especially the guards.”