Nike Called Charles Barkley About his LeBron James Negativity
Somehow this NBA postseason has turned into a clash between Charles Barkley and the Miami Heat. Last week Chuck called the Miami Heat a whiny bunch which didn’t sit well with fans. They also didn’t like that he picked the Chicago Bulls to win the series, so they let him have it during TNT’s postgame show after Game 3. Chuck responded with a double bird to the fans.
Most of the problems between the sides date back to last summer when Barkley criticized LeBron James for leaving the Cavs to join the Heat, completely disregarding that he had actually sold out and joined the Rockets in search of a ring late in his career! Putting the hypocrisy aside, Barkley’s negativity towards LeBron was enough to get the suits from the swoosh on the phone.
“These athletes today are all wussified,” Barkley said. “I’ve been saying LeBron’s been the best player in the league for three years. And I say one thing criticizing The Decision, and I get a phone call from Nike saying why don’t I like LeBron? It’s interesting how this [expletive] works. These groups today, if you don’t say 100 percent positive about their guy or their team, they overreact.”
Only Nike and Barkley really know what was said over the phone, but I have very little doubt they would put in a call to him. Nike is a monstrous business with a big brand to sell. They thrive off the image of their athletes and they try to market anything they possibly can. They believe that anything negative about their clients is bad for business, so they try to avoid it. Think about this one: if they went all George Costanza trying to make a videotape disappear, would you put it past them to call Chuck? Not at all, and frankly, that’s sad.