Hall of Famer and TNT analyst Charles Barkley has been a known critic of LeBron James after the latter pressured the Cleveland Cavaliers to upgrade their roster. However, Barkley made it clear that he’s just doing his job and won’t get personal with “The King.”
“I did not have a beef with LeBron. He had a beef with me,” Barkley said. “LeBron is a great player and a great person. He’s got two All-Stars (Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love). He’s got Tristan Thompson. He’s got J.R. Smith. (Iman) Shumpert. Kyle Korver. You can’t keep saying, ‘I need more help, I need more help.’ It’s not a personal thing. It’s just my opinion. He got mad and personal. But it’s all good.”
Charley Barkley isn’t a fan with the way LeBron James creates his legacy. Barkley believed the Cavaliers already gave him everything as they currently have the highest payroll in the league. However, instead of maximizing the current assets they have, James urged the Cavaliers to improve their roster, especially in adding another playmaker.
After the trade deadline, the Cavaliers granted James’ request with the acquisition of Deron Williams. Andrew Bogut also joined the Cavaliers but recently suffered a season-ending injury. If Bogut wasn’t injured, the Cavaliers already have the deepest bench of their 47-year franchise history.
LeBron James calls Charles Barkley a “hater”
Barkley described LeBron James as “whiny” and “inappropriate” for wanting all the good player on his team. The 11-time NBA All-Star believed that James doesn’t want to compete despite being considered as the best player in the world. Barkley’s words reached “The King,” who immediately responded and called him a “hater”.
“I’m not going to let him disrespect my legacy like that,” James told ESPN. “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 point.”
Though Barkley had his point, LeBron James has a reason to push the Cavaliers to make an upgrade. They lost Matthew Dellavedova and Timofey Mozgov last free agency and two of their starters, Kevin Love and J.R. Smith, suffered injuries during that time. Still, Barkley insisted that his statements have nothing personal with “The King” and it’s just part of his job to analyze players.
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