Charles Barkley's brutal swipe at Ben Simmons after Steve Nash firing

Ben Simmons and Kevin Durant are pictured left, and Charles Barkley on the right.
NBA great Charles Barkley says the trio of Ben Simmons, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are responsible for the Brooklyn Nets firing their coach, Steve Nash. Pictures: Getty Images/NBA on TNT

Charles Barkley has launched a stunning attack on Aussie NBA star Ben Simmons and his Brooklyn Nets teammates Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, claiming the trio were responsible for the Nets firing head coach Steve Nash.

The Nets parted ways with Nash on Wednesday after Brooklyn’s disappointing 2-5 start to the season, which has been marred by off-court controversies and poor chemistry on court.

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Barkley accused Simmons, Durant and Irving of behaving like ‘fools and jackasses’, which ultimately led to Nash being made a ‘scapegoat’ for the dysfunctional team.

“It’s just a bad look. From a public perception, you let these players run this man off his job because they were acting like fools,” Barkley said on the NBA on TNT broadcast.

“This is all on Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons. Steve Nash is just a scapegoat and it’s really unfortunate. This thing was never going to work when (Irving) said ‘we’re all the coach’.

“This team did pretty good in the playoffs (two years ago), so no one was talking about how bad a coach Steve Nash was then. All of sudden, these guys start acting like fools and jackasses and now it’s like ‘oh Steve Nash can’t coach’.”

After a 15-month layoff due to injury, Simmons has been far from his best since returning to the court, averaging just 6.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 7.3 assists to start the season - well below his career benchmarks.

The Australian has struggled to gel with both Durant and Irving, who have also attracted their fair share of unwelcome headlines in recent times.

Durant reportedly asked for Nash’s contract to be terminated during the off-season, before a last minute backflip which saw the situation smoothed over.

Irving, meanwhile refused to get vaccinated last season, before stirring up a trouble in the past couple of days by retweeting a link to an anti-semitic film, before doubling down on the situation in a later press conference.

Steve Nash fired as NBA coach amid Brooklyn Nets chaos

Nash ultimately paid the price for being unable to handle his star players in a manner which would produce results on the court.

However, the decision left many NBA fans and pundits speculating that Nash would in fact be relieved to no longer have to deal with the never ending issues stemming from within the Nets organisation.

The former NBA MVP, whose coaching record with the Nets was a commendable 94-67, released a statement on his Twitter account following his axing.

“It was a pleasure to work with the players, performance team and front office everyday,” Nash said.

“I’m especially grateful to my coaching staff and video room who are a talented group with so much character and professionalism.

“Lastly, thanks to Brooklyn and the passionate fans who support this team. Family first and my family has found a home here and LOVES being a part of this beautiful community. I wish the Nets all the success in the world and the Nash’s will be rooting for our team as they turn this season around.”

The Nets have reportedly already lined-up Nash’s replacement, with suspended Boston Celtics head coach Ime Udoka expected to be given the job according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

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