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Charles Barkley guarantees Knicks will make playoffs

Sir Charles says team got 'actual NBA players' through draft and free agency.

CHARLES BARKLEY is nothing if not unpredictable.

On Monday, while doing a conference call for TNT about the upcoming NBA season, the former Sixers star turned analyst said "I'm picking the Knicks to make the playoffs."

Say what?

Just nine months ago, Sir Charles said (jokingly we think) that if TNT aired another Knicks game, he'd quit.

"They haven't drafted any good young players the last 10 years, and that's why they stink," Barkley said at the time. "They try to raid everybody else's free agents, and when they don't get free agents, they stink."

What happened between then and now to cause Barkley to change his tune?

"I think (team president) Phil Jackson's done a good job getting quality NBA players," Barkley said.

The Knicks added power forward Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth overall pick in 2015 draft and selected guard Jerian Grant at No. 19. They also signed free agents Robin Lopez, Derrick Williams and Arron Afflalo.

"Porzingis, he's obviously a young kid with tremendous upside . . . ," Barkley said. "Lopez is a legitimate NBA player, Arron Afflalo is an NBA player, Grant is an NBA player, you got Derrick Williams - they've got actual NBA players."

That may be true, but does Barkley really think that a team that won just 17 games last season will make the playoffs?

"I'm guaranteeing it!" he said. "The Knicks are one of my sleeper teams."

Rock on Miami

Before he was "The Rock," Dwayne Johnson played football for the University of Miami, which fired head coach Al Golden - formerly of Temple - on Sunday.

On Monday, Mr. Rock tweeted what the Hurricanes should look for in a successor.

"Need to create a culture that's TRULY hungry for greatness," he wrote. "Not just winning, but greatness. We'll find that coach."