LeBron James has finally had enough of Sir Charles and his frequent criticisms.
Last Thursday’s Inside the NBA featured a rather heated debate with Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley in regards to James approaching the media with his opprobrium of the Cav’s upper brass. While Shaq stated his comments were inappropriate, he sided with LeBron and his choice words for Cleveland’s lackluster month of January and lack of a playmaker.
Barkley called LeBron’s comments “inappropriate” and “whiny”, and then cited the Cavs’ league high payroll and his unwillingness to compete due to him wanting “all the best players”.
Kenny Smith sided with Charles, stating, “We can’t understand your perspective when you are the best player in the world. We can’t understand your perspective when you have two All Stars.” After the Cavaliers loss to the Mavericks on Monday night, LeBron finally took Barkley to task.
“He’s a hater,” said James. “What makes what he says credible? Because he’s on TV?”
After a reporter’s follow up with Tristan Thompson, James finally tore into Barkley.
“I’m not going to let him disrespect my legacy like that,” said James. “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.”
LeBron ended by essentially questioning Barkley’s comments on competing.
“Go watch the ’93 Finals when John Paxson hit the shot,” James told reporters. “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.”