DALLAS, Texas – There seems to be a growing rift between Cleveland Cavaliers star forward LeBron James and former NBA MVP turned broadcaster Charles Barkley.
“Sir Charles” has been critical of James’ since the late 2000s, when the latter was then mulling over the idea of leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers. James did end up leaving the Cavs to sign with the Miami Heat in 2010, where he won his first NBA title two years later.
Barkley still continued to downplay James’ accomplishment, stating that the latter would never be better than Michael Jordan. He continued with his tirades last week by calling James “inappropriate” and “whiny,”and that the 2016 NBA Finals MVP would never ascend to top five status along with the likes of Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, and Oscar Robertson.
Seemingly fed up with criticisms that he deems to be highly uncalled for, James fired back at Barkley in a recent interview. According to him, Barkley was simply being a hater and that what the latter says on television should not always be given credit.
James also maintained that he never got into any sort of trouble throughout his 14-year career in the NBA, unlike some of his contemporaries who are unable to handle the trappings of fame. For him, his legacy should be respected, since he was able to represent the NBA the right way.
In 2016, LeBron James was finally able to help steer the Cavaliers to winning their first franchise title in 75 years. Currently, he is also instrumental for Cleveland being in the top spot at the NBA’s Eastern Conference standings with a record of 32-15. This season, he is averaging 25.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, and 8.5 assists, through 37.5 minutes of playing time per game.
Given his accomplishments, does LeBron James deserve such criticisms, even from a legend like Charles Barkley?