In hiring a new head coach and general manager, the Cleveland Browns are hoping to bounce back from their disappointing 6-10 season in 2019.
But until the Browns can get back on the field and prove they're capable of winning, it appears their reputation will remain.
That much was clear on Thursday night, as NBA legend Charles Barkley discussed the recent struggles of his former team, the Philadelphia 76ers. In doing so, the Hall of Fame forward made an unflattering comparison to Cleveland's football team, which fell short of its own lofty expectations last season.
“I picked the Sixers to get to the Finals,” Barkley said during TNT's 'Inside the NBA' on Thursday night. “I think they are the softest, mentally weakest team that had a bunch of talent. They are the Cleveland Browns of the NBA. They got a lot of talent, and they talk the talk, and that’s it.”
Barkley's comments come on the heels of the Sixers' 112-101 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday, which dropped Philadelphia's record to 31-21 on the season. What's more is there appears to be drama behind the scenes in the City of Brotherly Love, with All-Star center Joel Embiid criticizing the team's lack of an offensive identity.
That criticism is not unlike what Cleveland Pro Bowl receiver Jarvis Landry has said in recent weeks while discussing what went wrong for the Browns in 2019. So perhaps there's some legitimacy to Barkley's comparison, beyond the fact that the 11-time NBA All-Star was guilty of buying into the preseason hype for both teams.
“They came out telling everybody how good they were going to be,” Barkley said of the Browns. “Then they got punched in the mouth Game 1 and got punched for the rest of the season. The Philadelphia 76ers, my preseason pick to get to the NBA Finals, they’re just talk."