Charles Barkley criticizes LeBron James, LeBron has venomous response
"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. And for him to be trying to, hold anything over Dan Gilbert's head. And I love all these wild punk[expletive] reporters on televisions, who's afraid to call out LeBron. LeBron is a great player and a great guy, it just pisses me off, that a guy that great, don't want to compete."
James initially took the high road when asked about Barkley's recent comments, saying they were "good for the ratings," while defending his competitive spirit.
But after ESPN followed up with a story asking Tristan Thompson for his thoughts on Barkley's comments, James chose to speak out again in ardent fashion.
Editor's Note: Tristan Thompson's response to LeBron's "we need more" ranting.
When LeBron James questioned the Cavaliers' commitment to winning last week -- thus questioning owner Dan Gilbert's commitment to spending -- there was a near-universal counter argument to James' claim: His urging the organization to take care of teammates J.R. Smith and Tristan Thompson in free agency the past two summers is a major reason Cleveland is in its current luxury tax bind in the first place.
"I earned my money," Thompson told ESPN of his five-year, $82 million extension he signed in 2015. "LeBron's not my agent. I earned my money doing what I do; you can ask anyone around the league. I opened doors for other guys. It's a business, and you get paid what the market value is for you. I got my money and opened up doors for other guys that play hard and do the little things."
Alright, now to LeBron's ranting about Barkley in response.
"He's a hater," James told ESPN of Barkley following the Cleveland Cavaliers' 104-97 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday. "What makes what he says credible? Because he's on TV?"
"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."
"Go watch the '93 Finals when John Paxson hit the shot," James said. "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."
"I went to see Melo at the Garden two years ago when we were in New York," James said. "They played Portland. I went up to a suite at halftime, and Phil Jackson didn't say one word to me."
"I'm here to win ballgames and take care of my teammates and take care of my, what's that word, oh, my 'posse,'" James said, animatedly.
"I know he wanted to retire a long time ago, but he can't," James said. "He's stuck up on that stage every week."
James then issued a challenge, of sorts.
"And if this makes him want to talk to me, the schedule's out there," James said. "He knows every road arena I'll be in. Don't just come up to me at All-Star and shake my hand and smile."
"I collect one paycheck from this," James said of his role with the Cavs. "There's the owner, Griff's [David Griffin] the GM, I'm the player. Screw Charles Barkley."
"I'm tired of biting my tongue," James said. "There's a new sheriff in town."
Edited by Majesty, January 31, 2017 - 09:32 AM.