“Magic took over from Kareem, Parker took over from Duncan” Charles Barkley rips Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton to heavily depend upon CP3’s leadership all-the-time

Charles Barkley majorly criticizes Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton for not taking majo responsibility against Dallas Mavericks. Chuckster considers that Chris Paul should not be heavily criticizes for Suns' Semifinal Loss against the Mavs.

Charles Barkley on Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker
Charles Barkley firing on Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker

Phoenix Suns are yet to digest the dreadful and heart-breaking end of their 2021-22 season. With the wound being fresh, Hall of Famer big man Charles Barkley rubbed salt upon them. Charles blamed Suns’ younger marquee players- Devin Booker and DeAndre Ayton, giving some breather to Chris Paul. Western conference Top seed Phoenix Suns gave a strong challenge for with consistency in their performances, they held onto the best record in the league – despite missing some big-time players in regular-season games. But they needed 6 games to win over Play-in winners New Orleans Pelicans in the first-round. While Dallas Mavericks ended their season in 7 games, sadly at Footprint Center, Arizona.

Many criticized Chris Paul for his defensive lapses in series and poor show against Dallas in particular, but Charles Barkley ran in to take Chris’s side and gave some valuable advice to Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton.

Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker of Phoenix Suns
Chris Paul, Deandre Ayton and Devin Booker of Phoenix Suns

Barkley suggested that young stars need to step up to the occasion and should not always rely on the “experienced fella” to do all the work. To some extent, Barkley is correct and he even gave examples of the past champions’ teams to support his views.

Charles Barkley attacks Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton

Devin Booker and Monty Williams
Devin Booker and Monty Williams

Former Suns player and 1993 Finalist, Charles Barkley was angry with all the heat on Chris Paul for the Suns’ early exit from the postseason. Dallas Mavericks won the decider game by 33 points – the second-largest marginal defeat for the Suns in game 7 of the postseason. The last time they were beaten by Los Angeles Lakers by 35 points was in 1970.

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The disappointing end raised many questions and Chris Paul was majorly targeted for his low-key performance against Dallas in clutch Game 7. Chris averaged 9.8 points, 5.8 assists, and 3.4 rebounds per game in the last 5 games against the Mavs. Though his production is way-below his career averages, Barkley supported the veteran and calls-out Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton to start taking initiative in the game.

Barkley said on the RyenRussillo Podcast, “I criticize Booker and Ayton. It’s time for those guys to take over and be the best players. To ask a 38-year-old CP to be best player, he single-handedly won the New Orleans series for you, he got you a two zip, he probably ran out of gas because Luka was beating the hell out of him. But to ask a 38-year-old guy to carry you at this stage of his career.”

Devin Booker has averaged 23.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.6 assists in 7 games against the Mavericks in the 2022 Western Conference Semi-finals. Deandre Ayton averaged 15.7 points, 8.1 rebounds and 1.0 assist in 7 games against Dallas Mavericks in the 2022 Western Conference Semi-finals.

2021 finalist team looked helpless against Luka Doncic and Dallas Mavericks as they were shut down defensively and even roasted offensively by Doncic-led Mavs. Chuck gave examples of the San Antonio Spurs, where Tony Parker took the charge from Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard did the same later in his Spurs days. Also in LA Lakers, Magic Johnson took over from aging Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to deliver championships.

Devin Booker and Chris Paul in action against the Pelicans
Devin Booker and Chris Paul vs Pelicans

With 25-years old Devin Booker playing his 7th season, there are huge expectations from the Franchise player to make plays easier for the team. Similarly, Deandre Ayton, who is just 23 years old, needed to show more hunger for the precious “W”. Especially Devin Booker who is reaching his prime and is considered to be the Franchise player in Arizona. Chris Paul was playing in his 17th Season in the league and nearing his retirement.

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