*TNT analyst Charles Barkley is standing by his criticism of LeBron James one day after being viciously dragged by the Cleveland Cavaliers’ star during an ESPN interview.
Last week, Barkley said James was being “whiny” for publicly saying the Cavs need to bring in another playmaker.
“I stick by what I said, I’m not going to make this personal. … He was all whiny last week,” Barkley said on the Waddle & Silvy show on ESPN Radio on Tuesday. “… I’m good and I’m straightforward, I’m never going to get personal on an NBA player.”
When asked Tuesday whether he felt James’ clap back crossed the line, Barkley said it was a case of shooting the messenger and that he had no issues with James’ remarks.
“I was laughing, clearly he did some homework … he Googled me and found some things,” Barkley said. “He was young when I was playing, so I appreciate that, but I’m not upset about it. … My criticism was fair, and I’m good with that.”
Despite rankling NBA’s biggest star, Barkley said he doesn’t plan to bite his tongue.
“Some of the stuff he said about me is correct — doesn’t make the message I said about him incorrect,” Barkley said. “Some of them are intimidated about LeBron, [but] I’m not intimidated at all.”
As previously reported, Barkley originally said James’ calls for another playmaker were “Inappropriate. Whiny. All of the above. 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 [LeBron] 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.”
James, clearly irked by Barkley’s comments, told ESPN’s Dave McMenamin on Monday night that he won’t let Barkley “disrespect my legacy like that,” and took some personal shots at the Hall of Famer.
“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,” James told ESPN on Monday. “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.”