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Sir Charles looks ahead

Barkley speaks on future of Rockets, future of NBA

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Posted: Tuesday July 06, 1999 06:43 PM

  Barkley: "Obviously I would prefer to go back to Houston, but right now I am a free agent and Iím listening to several other teams." CNN/SI

LAKE TAHOE, Nev. (CNN/SI) -- Now that the season is over, most NBA players are pursuing their second favorite sport - golf. Recently, CNN/SI's Mike Galanos caught up with Houston Rockets forward Charles Barkley and asked him about his future plans and what changes -- if any -- needed to be made to improve the quality of play in the NBA.

Michael Galanos: Charles let's talk some basketball. I don't know if you guys would term this year fun -- you get bounced again in the first round of the playoffs. What do you have to do to get back up to that championship level?

Charles Barkley: Well obviously, if you don't win, you're not good enough. I think we have to solidify the guard situation and I think we need one more athletic guy. I think we played Scottie Pippen too many minutes this year and I think it really affected him at different stages throughout the season. We have to solidify the guard situation or we are just wasting our time.

MG: Charles, there were rumors about Hakeem Olajuwon being dealt. How does that affect you?

CB: It didn't affect me. I was on the golf course. I don't do anything during the summer but play golf. I'm a free agent. And I'm just sitting back and waiting. Obviously I would prefer to go back to Houston, but right now I am a free agent and I'm listening to several other teams. It didn't affect me. The Rockets chose not to do it and hopefully they have something else up their sleeve.

MG: Let's talk about...what teams are you interested in? You said Houston is No. 1, who else peaks your interest?

CB: I don't want to get personal, but there are only about three or four teams out there ... teams close to winning a championship. That's the only goal left for me to accomplish.

MG: Let's talk about the game. A lot of people say the game needs to speed up ... there's talk about five second rule changes. What's your take? Does the game need to change a little bit?

CB: I don't think the game needs to change, I think the game is fine. There are not really that many great players in the NBA today. We have a lot of young kids who haven't matured into superstars and that's the biggest problem. Everybody wants to mess with some type of sport, but the game is fine. San Antonio was the best team, they deserve to win the championship. But I think the biggest difference -- the game is going through an evolution now where so many young players because every kid in high school and every kid after one or two years of college wants to go pro. And until we address that, I'm not sure what we can do. We have to find a way for these kids to stay in college longer or give them an opportunity...some type of CBA deal where they will get some grooming cause there not ready to take over yet.

Related information
Barkley's Rockets to play exhibition in Birmingham
Lakers end Rockets' season
Charles Brakley talks about where he would like to play next season. (77 K)
Barkley understands the changes the game is going through. (73 K)
Sir Charles has a few suggestions on how the Rockets can improve for next season. (67 K)
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