In defending his comments calling LeBron James “whiny,” Charles Barkley sought to characterize his criticism as purely basketball related, not personal. “I would never say anything personal about a player,” Barkley said. Barkley used the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony and the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook to illustrate his point, saying they would love to have James’ problems — his basketball problems.
James recently complained that the Cavaliers were “top-heavy” with stars and didn’t perhaps have enough talent in the reserve roles to defend their NBA title. The complaint struck Barkley as “whiny” — a criticism he defended as a basketball fact, not a personal dig. Barkley said he was sure that Anthony or Westbrook would gladly take James’ top-heavy problem and play with Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson. That’s General Manager talk, not gossip, Barkley asserts — there’s a difference. Shaquille O’Neal disagreed, saying Barkley made it personal by saying “James didn’t want to compete.” Which everybody agree was a stupid thing to say.
Charles Barkley responds to LeBron James’ recent comments. pic.twitter.com/tJQYQzF3Bs
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 3, 2017