LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers have had a tough start to 2017.
The defending champions had record of 7-8 in the month of January in which they lost to some teams that have losing records. Also, one of those losses were when they were blown out by 35 points to the Golden State Warriors. James would voice his complaints, saying that the team isn’t as good as last season, and that the team needs more help to repeat as NBA champions. Charles Barkley, a former player, and analyst on TNT Basketball called James “Whiny” based on his comments.
“The Cleveland Cavaliers have given him everything,” Barkley said. “He’s got Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love. He want’s everybody? He don’t want to compete? He want to be the favorite every time? It just pisses me off that a guy that great, don’t want to compete.” On Monday, James fired back at Barkley and brought up Barkley’s past.”
“He’s a hater,” James said to ESPN.com. “What makes him credible? Because he’s on TV? I’m not going to let him disrespect my legacy like that. I’m not the one who threw somebody through a window. I never spit on a kid. I never had an unpaid debt in Las Vegas… All I’ve done my entire career is represent the NBA the right way. 14 years, never got in trouble. Respected the game. Print that.”
James’ former teammate and close friend, Dwyane Wade praised James for his comments. “Thank god he finally said something,” Wade said to reporters during practice. “A lot of guys take a lot of shots at him.” Wade would also criticize Barkley. “Sometimes when guys get a microphone in front of their face, they just talk and talk and talk and forget about their history,” Wade said. “We all make that mistake, especially that guy on TV, he’s acting like he just walked on water.”
On the TNT Tip-Off show on Thursday, Barkley would respond to James’ comments. “I have no problem what with LeBron said. Everything’s not true, but most of it is true. I did some stupid things in my life,” Barkley said. “All my criticism of any player or any team is strictly about basketball… My comments were what I said, I stick by them. But, I’m never going to say anything personal about another NBA player.”