This is the second time this season James expressed discontent with someone not paying homage to The King.
I must admit, it was not until reading JR Glymph’s post about the beef between Charles Barkley and LeBron, did I even become aware of the newest issue with the King. So I had to go online and see what the Cavaliers star was mad about.
Before I go any further, let me state that I believe The King is the best basketball player in the world today. He is unstoppable. His legacy was solidified as one of the best ever after beating Golden Stare last year.
I will also admit that this is not the first time I had something to share about Sir Charles and his comments.
But after listening to the entire TNT segment, not just Charles Barkley’s criticism, I have to agree with Charles. Not just Charles, but I agree with Kenny Smith, Kevin Garnett, Rasheed Wallace, and Shaquille O’Neal, who all found LeBron’s behavior at the minimum “inappropriate.” Their words not mine.
LeBron then fired back, at Barkley only. For some reason he gave a pass to the other four analysts. James asserted Charles was wrong because he “threw somebody through a window” and “spit on a kid.” He also maintained that Sir Charles owed money in Vegas and reminded us that the Hall of Famer once informed parents not to expect his help in raising their kids when he said, “I’m not a role model.”
Even after LeBron criticized Charles for his remarks, Barkley did not back down, by contending he’s “not there to be friends with these guys. I’m there to do my job.”
Yes, Barkley went beyond “inappropriate” and called James “whiny” for going to the media about how Cleveland needs to improve their roster. But if you watch the entire segment, three of the other former players (Kenny Smith, Kevin Garnett, and Rasheed Wallace) showed no sympathy for James either. Especially because LeBron complained to external factions and is on a team with the highest payroll. Especially, since LeBron plays on a roster that contains Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love, and himself.
Even when you are the best player in the NBA, who said the task of repeating a championship was easy?
James calling Charles a “hater” and citing Barkley’s past misbehaviors is just a distraction. At the end of they day, it is not about “screw Charles Barkley.” It’s about dealing with your team drama within your organization.
This is the 2nd time this year LeBron has felt dissed because of a perceived shot aimed at him. First, it was Phil Jackson. Now it is Barkley. For whatever reason, LeBron expects NBA fans and analysts to keep their mouths closed when it comes to him, if we have something less than flattering to say. Not surprisingly, it is not just him. I already have read D. Wade support The King’s comments about Barkley. I would expect more players to follow.
I would have rather he responded to the legitimate opinion held my Barkley, Smith, Garnett, Wallace, Shaq, and myself than take aim at Barkley’s past faults.
When it comes to his opinions now, I don’t care that Barkley once threw somebody through a window or spit on a kid. He has paid for that in the public arena and forged a great post-NBA career as a NBA voice. Most of us have grown wiser as we aged and should not allow past mistakes to silence our opinions.
Truth is, there is no connection between Barkley’s decades-old history and his comments (praise or critique) when discussing LeBron or any other athlete. Judge the comments on their own merits.
There has to be something more important to worry about than an analyst “disrespecting his legacy.” Maybe today’s athlete is just thin-skinned when they make a “mistake” and get called out. I can imagine it is a humbling experience, to have the world picking apart your every move, but some seem to handle it better than others.