April 23, 2024

Charles Barkley called out by Nate Oats for Alabama insult

Auburn alum Charles Barkley mocking Alabama is a tale as old as time, but Crimson Tide basketball coach Nate Oats still didn’t like it.

Immediately after the Alabama Crimson Tide defeated North Carolina 89-87 to advance to the Elite Eight Thursday night, Oats had Barkley on his mind. During his postgame interview, Oats briefly praised the Tide’s second half effort before quickly transitioning to comments Barkley made earlier in the day.

“It was great,” Oats said. “I mean Grant (Nelson) stepped up. We were able to guard (UNC’s Armando) Bacot a little better one on one. You know, Charles Barkley called us frail. I don’t think (Grant) was frail tonight. He showed up tonight. But yeah, they stepped up big in the second half.”

Prior to the game, Barkley said of Alabama, “They are a very frail team. They can’t handle North Carolina in the post. That’s a huge advantage for North Carolina, but Alabama is one of the best 3-point shooting teams in the country.”

Barkley’s comments ended up serving as bulletin board material for Alabama, with Oats referencing them again in the locker room after the game.

“Where’s the cameras?” Oats asked while giving his team a postgame speech. “Charles Barkley called us frail…we ain’t frail! We ain’t frail! And we’re in the Elite Eight and we’re one game away from the Final Four.”

Oats surmised Barkley’s “frail” comment was directed at Nelson. If it was, Alabama’s 6’ 11” forward responded in a big way, leading his team in scoring with 24 points on top of 12 rebounds.

Alabama clearly attempted to use Barkley’s comments as pregame fuel, but North Carolina could have done the same thing. Because while he called Alabama “frail,” he also picked them to win the game, even dropping a “Roll Tide!” when making his prediction. The pick may have been surprising considering Barkley’s allegiance to Auburn, but it shouldn’t be. Last year, Barkley picked Alabama to win the whole tournamen

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