LeBron James finally unloaded on Charles Barkley on Monday night following years of criticism, and one of LeBron’s closest friends was happy to see it.
On Tuesday, Dwyane Wade cautioned analysts and former players like Charles Barkley to be careful what they say when their own checkered pasts are just a quick Google search away. Wade also commended LeBron for finally putting Sir Charles in his place.
Here's full Wade quote on LBJ/Barkley. Never tried one of these emoji things before but believe this is considered pic.twitter.com/EFAOorIw8x
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) January 31, 2017
In Barkley’s defense, he rarely hides from his own history. He’s very open and honest about the mistakes he has made both during his playing career and in his personal life. You could also argue that Barkley was right to come down on James for criticizing his own team’s front office in public, but LeBron’s reaction (which you can read more of here) was about far more than just that.
For years, Barkely has said that LeBron is not one of the top five players in NBA history and probably never will be. Barkley has also made comments about hairlines and appearances, so he doesn’t exactly stick to basketball. After a frustrating month in which the Cleveland Cavaliers went 7-8, it’s no surprise LeBron decided he was done taking the high road.
Charles Barkley has never backed down from criticizing LeBron James, and LeBron has finally heard enough of it.
After James complained about the Cleveland Cavaliers’ not putting enough pieces around him, Barkley ripped LeBron for being “whiny” and acting in an “inappropriate” manner. LeBron has typically taken the high road when called about by Barkley in the past, but he finally exploded following his team’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks Monday night.
“He’s a hater,” James told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin when asked about Barkley. “What makes what he says credible? Because he’s on TV?
“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.”
Barkley has been lobbing grenades at James for years, and LeBron has obviously been letting the frustration build. He let it all out on Monday, even firing back at Barkley for comments Sir Charles has made in the past about James being too friendly with some opposing players like Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony.
“Go watch the ’93 Finals when John Paxson hit the shot,” LeBron added. “Barkley and (Michael) Jordan were laughing and joking with each other during one of the games while somebody’s shooting a free throw. In the Finals. But, oh, nobody were friends back then.”
LeBron has listened to Barkley rag on him for everything from the hair on his head to his place in basketball history. If you ask James, the criticism is uncalled for and a result of Barkley’s frustration with himself.
“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,” LeBron said. “I’m here to win ballgames and take care of my teammates and take care of my, what’s that word, oh, my ‘posse.'”
The “posse” remark was an obvious shot at Phil Jackson, but LeBron quickly turned his attention back to Barkley.
“I know he wanted to retire a long time ago, but he can’t,” he said. “He’s stuck up on that stage every week. And if this makes him want to talk to me, the schedule’s out there. He knows every road arena I’ll be in. Don’t just come up to me at All-Star and shake my hand and smile.”
Your move, Sir Charles.
Plenty of people agree with Barkley that LeBron was wrong to publicly criticize the Cavs’ front office, but the three-time NBA champion’s animated reaction was about way more than that. LeBron torching Barkley has been a long time coming.
Charles Barkley is not afraid to criticize LeBron James, and he proved that yet again on Thursday.
Speaking on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” prior to Thursday’s Thunder-Mavericks game, Barkley called James’ criticism of the Cavaliers’ front office “whiny” and “inappropriate.”
Here’s what Barkley had to say about it:
Charles Barkley gets visibly angry about LeBron James wanting more players pic.twitter.com/l16WUXvalz
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) January 27, 2017
After the Cavaliers lost to the Pelicans on Monday night, James called out the team’s front office for not making the roster additions that are needed to keep winning during the regular season. The comments were sparked by Cleveland’s poor showing in January.
Shaq felt otherwise and pointed out to Barkley that “it takes more” to repeat as a champion.
Cleveland lost players from last year’s team and really hasn’t improved enough, while the Golden State Warriors added Kevin Durant. Between the two, the Warriors have improved more.
The issues about the Cavs’ roster apparently has led to James’ relationship with team owner Dan Gilbert being strained.
Just remember that Barkley criticized James for leaving Cleveland to go to Miami in the first place, and even heard from Nike about it. It’s no surprise that he’s critical of James again for wanting better teammates.
Auburn plays in the SEC and is among the top college football programs, so it would be hard to consider them a “mid-major” in any sense. But Charles Barkley believes the Tigers are a secondary college basketball program.
Barkley, who is the school’s most famous basketball alum, sat in on SEC Network’s telecast of the Auburn-LSU game on Wednesday for a few minutes. He was asked why it’s been so hard for Auburn to sustain basketball success and shared his opinion.
“The main reason is all the best players in the country want to go to a school where they’re going to be one-and-done. We’re not getting those guys. That’s the biggest problem with any mid-major. Auburn’s not a mid-major, but technically they are,” said Barkley.
“All the McDonald’s All-Americans — all the great players — they’re going to go to certain schools because they all have the mentality that they’re only going to be in school for one year. We haven’t been getting those guys, but I think Bruce (Pearl) is doing a terrific job of trying to get those guys,” Barkley said in reference to Auburn’s basketball coach.
“All the McDonald’s All-Americans or all the guys who think they’re going to be one-and-done, they’re not going to go to smaller schools. They’re going to go to schools where they’re going to be on TV every week.”
Whether you agree with Barkley calling Auburn a mid-major in basketball or not, his bottom line is that the program just doesn’t get the high-quality players that say a Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Kansas or UCLA gets. That is a point most can agree with. But calling a prominent athletic school that plays in a big-time conference a mid-major is debatable.
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Kenny Smith is sort of caught in the middle of the feud between Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley, but the former NBA point guard is not afraid to say who he thinks is right and who is wrong in the ongoing beef.
In a brief interview with TMZ over the weekend, Smith said he believes Barkley should apologize to Jordan.
“All he has to do is make a phone call if he misses him,” Smith said. “I think the one thing both Charles and Michael have is a lot of pride. Once the pride settles down … I do think Charles was wrong. Mike’s doing a great job. (Barkley) should apologize. (Jordan’s) doing a great job.”
Barkley has maintained that he was only doing his job, and it’s hard to argue with him. Barkley said his relationship with Jordan went south when Sir Charles criticized the job his former Dream Team teammate has done running the then-Charlotte Bobcats.
“I think some people, when you’re their friend, they expect you to have their back no matter what,” Barkley explained previously. “Part of my job sucks, but I have to criticize people I like or are friends. … He took it personal and got really angry.”
Charlotte has made the playoffs just three times since Jordan became an owner in 2006, and they have lost in the first round each time. Last season, they took their series against the Miami Heat to seven games. They were swept the two times before that, so you can understand why Barkley was critical of the direction of the franchise.
We know Barkley’s outspokenness can rub people the wrong way, and that is obviously also true for his friends. The story of why he is no longer friends with Tiger Woods is even more interesting.
Charles Barkley has been a longtime critic of the Golden State Warriors, and coach Steve Kerr had a strong response to his latest criticism.
On Thursday night, Barkley went after the Warriors again, saying that he was “never going to like that little girly basketball” that he believes they play. It’s only the latest in a long list of criticisms of Golden State that have usually gone ignored by those associated with the team.
Charles Barkley explains why he doesn't like the way the Golden State Warriors play basketball pic.twitter.com/DaTud8Lwje
— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) December 2, 2016
On Friday, though, Kerr could not resist a response.
Steve Kerr on Charles Barkley comments: "It's getting to the point if our team walked in front of his house, he'd yell 'Get off my lawn!'"
— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) December 2, 2016
Possibly not far from the truth.
Barkley has derided the Warriors as a jump-shooting team that would never win a championship, even though they eventually did. He’s never let up on that criticism despite their remarkable success. At this point, it’s kind of an old take, and good on Kerr for jabbing back and having a little fun with it.
Michael Jordan may have put his arm around Charles Barkley while posing for a photo recently, but that does not mean His Airness has forgiven his old friend.
The photo, which was taken at the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame ceremony last month, led to speculation that Barkley and Jordan are finally speaking to one another again. Featured in the same photo was Kenny Smith, who later bragged about playing peacemaker between the old Dream Team teammates. Unfortunately, Barkley told “The Dan Le Batard Show” on Tuesday that there was no burying of the hatchet.
“I love Michael. I miss Michael’s friendship. He was a great friend to me for a long period of time and I love him and miss him like a brother,” Barkley said. “I would love to mend that relationship, but we just happened to be at the same place and took a picture together. We are not back to where we used to be.”
Barkley said that was actually the first time he had spoken to Jordan in years.
“I think some people, when you’re their friend, they expect you to have their back no matter what,” he explained. “Part of my job sucks, but I have to criticize people I like or are friends. … He took it personal and got really angry.”
Jordan and Barkley were close when they played in the NBA together, but their relationship soured several years ago when Barkley criticized some of the decisions Jordan had made as owner of the then-Charlotte Bobcats. Barkley opened up about the demise of the friendship in detail a couple of years back.
Barkley is one of the most outspoken guys in sports, and that can rub those close to him the wrong way. The story of why he is no longer friends with Tiger Woods is even more interesting.