Charles Barkley is the most popular NBA analyst on TV. He often dispenses harsh criticism from his perch at the TNT studios. A frequent target of his criticisms over the years has been one LeBron James.
Barkley was a vocal critic of James dating back to his initial move from Cleveland to Miami. Barkley, despite joining his own failed super team in Houston, led a chorus of former greats that said James’ move lacked character, and sought the easy way out.
Despite James returning to Cleveland, and bringing the Cavs and the city their first professional sports title since roughly the Revolutionary War, Chuck has not relented.
Recently, Barkley dispensed some scathing criticism of James for public comments in which James stated he was unhappy with the current Cavs roster and wanted management to add the additional players.
Barkley called the comments “whiny” and “inappropriate.”
LeBron is officially done turning the other cheek, and last night, following another Cavs loss to the lowly Mavericks in Dallas, he finally went nuclear on Barkley.
In a postgame interview with ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, James went through a laundry list of criticisms of Barkley, and pointed out what he feels is the utter hypocrisy of Sir Charles’ moral high ground.
“He’s a hater. What makes what he says credible? Because he’s on TV?”
James continued to dig the knife in deeper, and got personal. Very personal.
“I’m not going to let him disrespect my legacy like that. I’m not the one who threw somebody through a window. I never spit on a kid. I never had unpaid debt in Las Vegas. I never said, ‘I’m not a role model.’ I never showed up to All-Star Weekend on Sunday because I was in Vegas all weekend partying.
All I’ve done for my entire career is represent the NBA the right way. Fourteen years, never got in trouble. Respected the game. Print that.”
James continued, “I know he wanted to retire a long time ago, but he can’t. He’s stuck up on that stage every week.”
Chris Rock would be envious of that mic drop. You have to imagine that Barkley won’t just let these comments slide without response. More, please.
Here are Barkley’s recent comments that elicited James ether:
Here’s Colin’s take on the James/Barkley dust-up from today in The Herd:
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) January 31, 2017