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Charles Barkley: Lakers ‘aren’t a good team,’ a ‘6th, 7th, 8th seed at best’

Charles Barkley is not one to shy away from making a bold prediction or controversial statement, and the outspoken NBA on TNT analyst did so again by arguing the LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers, quite simply, “aren’t a good team.”

Barkley’s latest hot take, of which there are many, came during TNT’s pregame coverage of what turned out to be a thrilling showdown Thursday between the Golden State Warriors and Toronto Raptors. The panel discussion centered around how much of an impact James’ presence ultimately will have on a Lakers team that has failed to reach the playoffs over the last five seasons.

If Barkley’s hot take on the Lakers rings a bell, it’s because he made a similar bold proclamation shortly after James signed with the team, which echoed what he originally had to say about The King heading to L.A.

Following Thursday’s 104-96 victory over the Indiana Pacers, the Lakers sit at 12-9, which has them in the firmly in the postseason picture, albeit early on, as the current seventh seed in the muddled Western Conference.

There’s obviously a lot of season left to be played, so any arguments about how things will shake out come playoff time of course are academic at this point, including Sir Charles’ firm rebuttal of the Lakers’ postseason pedigree.

All that said, would it even be considered a failure should James lead the Lakers to the playoffs in his first season, given the team’s recent history? Even James himself made a point to temper expectations about this season’s prospects from the get-go.