The already-insufferable Charles Barkley v. LeBron James beef just refuses to die already, in part because Barkley is simply too stubborn to stop defending himself. But there’s plenty of blame to go around. James should’ve anticipated the backlash before going to the media to complain about what he sees as the Cavs’ complacency toward roster building, which is what initially prompted Barkley to accuse James of being “whiny.”
Perhaps because the TNT analyst has been such an outspoken critic of his over the years, James was clearly fed up and decided to snap back at Barkley by calling out all of his dubious behavior during his playing days. Barkley responded on Tuesday by saying that it isn’t his job to play nice with the players he criticizes.
And it didn’t stop there. In an interview with Mike Wise of The Undefeated, Barkley was asked whether he would consider contacting James personally to try and hash things out. His response was about what you’d expect:
“For what?” Barkley asked rhetorically Wednesday. “For tellin’ the truth? What am I supposed to say, ‘You’re the greatest player in the world’? You’ve got two All-Stars and you want me to feel sorry for you? Do you think Carmelo [Anthony] would be happy with two All-Stars? I think he’d be happy.”
“I thought my criticism was fair,” Barkley told The Undefeated. “So I don’t understand why he took it so personally. But you know what, I’m a big boy. I’m good.”
James has been mostly mum since his initial diatribe earlier this week, so maybe we can finally put this whole juvenile ordeal to rest. After all, James and the Cavs have much bigger things to worry about as they continue to try and climb their way out of their current slump.