Cleveland Cavaliers superstar and NBA Hall of Famer turned television analyst, Charles Barkley, are involved in a war of words.
LeBron’s team are the defending NBA champions. They currently sit on top of the Eastern Conference standings with a record of 32-15, but have lost 6 of their last 10 games.
Following Cleveland’s fifth loss in 7 games Monday, January 23, in New Orleans, King James said his team lacks depth.
“It’s been a sh!tty 2017 so far. We’re not better than last year, from a personnel standpoint. We’re top-heavy as sh!t,” James griped. “It’s me, [Kyrie Irving] and [Kevin Love]. It’s top heavy. I’m not singling out anybody, I’m not. Yeah, we won [the championship], but f*ck, you know what, let’s see if we can do something.”
Barkley responded on TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” by criticizing the three-time NBA Finals MVP.
“Inappropriate. Whiny. All of the above,” Barkley said of James’ comments last week. “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. He’s got Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. He want everybody? He don’t wanna compete?”
James fired back at Barkley following his team’s loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, January 30.
“He’s a hater,” James told ESPN of Barkley. “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.”