LeBron James has finally lost his patience with TNT’s Charles Barkley and he absolutely lit him up in an interview after yet another puzzling loss, this time to the struggling Dallas Mavericks.
“He’s a hater,” James told ESPN of Barkley following that loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday. “What makes what he says credible? Because he’s on TV?”
Much has been made of the ridiculous amount of money the Cavaliers have spent the last three years on players to keep James happy. That hasn’t stopped him from being upset with the team’s inability to trade for a playmaker off the bench to alleviate some of the pressure on Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love as well as himself. With the Cavs set to have their first losing month with James on the roster in about a decade, the topic hasn’t gone away.
Charles Barkley made his opinion of the matter known last week on the popular studio show “Inside the NBA.”
“Inappropriate. Whiny. All of the above. The Cleveland Cavaliers, they have given him everything he wanted. They have the highest payroll in NBA history. He wanted J.R. Smith last summer, they paid him. He wanted [Iman] Shumpert last summer. They brought in Kyle Korver. He’s the best player in the world. Does he want all of the good players? He don’t want to compete? He is an amazing player. They’re the defending champs.”
That was the last poke that LeBron the bear would take as he absolutely unleashed on Barkley for questioning his competitive spirit while still being a great role model for kids, unlike the man insulting him.
“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.”
He then basically called Barkley a hypocrite for his comments on being friends with Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony and how today’s NBA is too friendly.
“Go watch the ’93 Finals when John Paxson hit the shot. Barkley and 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.”
Maybe that will put Barkley in his place and maybe force him to actually think of what he’s saying before he says it. As it stands, he pretty much just spews out anything that pops into his head with no filter.