Charles Barkley puts Kyrie Irving in place with strong words
Charles Barkley put Kyrie Irving in place with some strong words delivered on Thursday.
Irving was fined by the NBA for not talking with the media as he is contractually obligated to do. The Brooklyn Nets guard made matters worse by slighting the media, saying he doesn’t talk to pawns.
Barkley says Irving needs to stop being unprofessional and thinking he’s smarter than everyone. Barkley made his comments in an interview with KJZ on ESPN Radio.
“I’m not sure what he’s doing. I don’t like it,” Barkley said of Irving. “They don’t pay you 40 million dollars just to play basketball. Part of it is sitting down with you guys, sitting down with me and Kenny [Smith] and Ernie [Johnson] and [Shaquille O’Neal], talking to New York reporters. Being with the media is part of your professional obligation, and you can say what you want to say. But these guys today, they’re different. I don’t hate on them, but I’m not sure what point Kyrie is trying to make.
“He starts talking about what an artist is. He’s a basketball player. That’s what he is. Listen, we’re not frontline responders. We’re not teachers. Yo man, you dribble a basketball, stop acting like you’re the smartest person in the world.
“Now can you talk about social issues and things like that? Of course. But some of this other stuff I’m like ‘yo man, you do realize you’re just a basketball player, right?’ And it seems like he’s like ‘no I want you guys to know I’m the smartest guy in the room.’ Well first of all, you’re not. You only went to college for six months. A lot of guys are smarter than you are. Just answer stupid basketball questions. And if you want to say something about social justice, say it and mean it, because it’s important and significant. But all that other stuff? Like, yo man, shut the he– up and talk basketball.”
It’s important to differentiate things. Barkley isn’t telling Kyrie to “shut up and dribble” when it comes to social justice or other causes. He’s just telling him to act like a professional. Irving is behaving unprofessionally and has taken some anti-media stance that only makes him look bad, all while making the job harder for his teammates, because they have to deal with the nonsense.
It just seems like Irving’s highest priority is being a pain in the rear and making every situation more difficult than it needs to be. Barkley has seen this for a while from Irving.