Every morning, the fine folks at Sports Radio Interviews sift through the a.m. drive-time chatter to bring you the best interviews with coaches, players, and personalities across the sports landscape. Today: Chuck wants a vacation in Chicago, so Chuck wants the Bulls to win.
Charles Barkley joined ESPN Chicago with Waddle and Silvy to talk about the NBA playoffs getting started this weekend, who he thinks is the MVP, who the best team is in the NBA, whether or not Boston can rebound in time to make a playoff run, and the draws of Chicago in the summer.
Are the Bulls number one team out of the East?
"Yes. They've been the most consistent team all season. They got the guy who's been the best player in basketball all year. You know, it's interesting, all these reporters, one reason why I don't like them is because they're idiots. You know, it's like… the MVP award is the guy who's having the best season. And I'll tell you, two, three months ago, this team had this wrapped up. They're trying to bring up other candidates. I understand Stan Van Gundy wants to pump up his guy Dwight Howard because I love Dwight Howard, but Derrick Rose should win the MVP in a landslide. I mean, I know those clowns in Miami aren't going to vote for him, but he should win the MVP hands down, to be honest with you."
Who will the Bulls have to pass in the Eastern Conference Finals?
"I'm not sure of that, to be honest with you. I think that Miami-Boston series is a toss-up. Now, Bulls, now, they can't sleep on Orlando, now. That's going to be a difficult series because of the Dwight Howard match-up. I think they can win that series, but it's not going to be an easy series. The Miami-Boston series is a toss-up, to be honest with you. I don't put any stock into that one game this weekend. I still think Boston's going to be tough to beat."
How can the older guys on Boston turn it back on?
"I don't want to fall into the same trap I fell into last year. Do I think they can turn it on? No. But I said the same thing last year and Doc Rivers proved to me that he was an elite coach because he won the Cleveland series and the Orlando series. If you go back and look at those series, they were just out-coached… Remember last year, they finished 27-27 and, you know, I counted them out, but the only difference is that little, tough guy on that coaching staff is coaching in Chicago now and I voted for him for coach of the year."
Are the Lakers still the team to beat?
"I don't think so, to be honest with you. I just think they've been too inconsistent. They lose five or six games in a row like two or three times this whole year. They don't have that extra gift because clearly Kobe has slowed down quite a bit. Derek Fisher slowed down quite a bit. Ron Artest is Ron Artest. He's just been disinterested the whole year."
Bulls-Heat in the Conference Finals:
"Dude, listen, I can't speak for Mike Wilbon, but I think Chicago is the best summer city in the world. If the Bulls do not get to the conference finals, I'm going to kill Derrick Rose and Tom Thibodeau. I want to spend my week and a half in Chicago for the Conference Finals. I'm going to come in and spend the whole show with you guys and we'll have a blast. Listen dude, I just want to be there for a week and a half and I'll bring the beer."
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