After another loss against the Dallas Mavericks, LeBron used his post game presser to get some things off his chest. In a response to Charles Barkley’s criticism, James felt compelled to not only address Charles’ comments but also go down memory lane of Charles’ worst career moments while doing so.
This year, LeBron James is taking on more of a vocal role on his Cavaliers team (if that’s even possible). It feels like after making good on his promise to bring an NBA Championship to his home town, LeBron isn’t going to let anyone talk mess about his legacy. As impressive as it was for James to rally his teammates last season; this season, he’s finding things aren’t playing out the way he’d like them to and he’s been very open about expressing his displeasure with the media. Charles Barkley caught wind of some of the things LBJ’s been saying (Cavs need a playmaker, Cavs need a point guard, Cavs need basically a brand new team), Charles called out Lebron for being “inappropriate and whiny”:
“He’s 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. LeBron’s 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.”
After stewing on these words for a few days, James went for the jugular in his response:
“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 unpaid debt in Las Vegas. 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. All I’ve done for my entire career is represent the NBA the right way. Fourteen years, never got in trouble. Respected the game. Print that.”
“I collect one paycheck from this. There’s the owner, Griff’s [David Griffin] the GM, I’m the player. Screw Charles Barkley. I know he wanted to retire a long time ago, but he can’t. He’s stuck up on that stage every week. I’m tired of biting my tongue. There’s a new sheriff in town.”
Pretty sure LeBron’s inner self after that tirade was like:
I’m sorry but I’m really enjoying this new petty LeBron that has the time to drag anyone that’s talking shit about him. Whether it’s Phil Jackson or Charles Barkley, no one is beyond the wrath of King James.