As noted in last week’s article, LeBron James and Charles Barkley had a war of words of sorts about LeBron complaining too much for other players and Barkley not being qualified enough to make those comments.
Well, recently, players like Dywane Wade and Draymond Green have spoken out in defense of James and against Barkley who clearly has many players across the league calling for his mouth to stay closed just a little more.
Wade, who was James’ teammate for four years and one of his closest friends, was quick to react to Barkley’s comments and praise James’ rebuttal:
“Thank God he finally said something,” Wade said, “LeBron, a lot of guys take a lot of shots at him — for whatever reason. He just has kept his mouth closed and continued to focused on what he needs to. But it’s about time he said something man. Guys ride him, especially ex-players.”
He continued: “Sometimes, when guys get a microphone in front of their face, they just talk and talk and forget about their history. We all make that mistake, but especially that guy on TV. He acting like he just walks on water. And I like the fact that LeBron called him out and told him about himself a little bit. Humble yourself.”
These comments by Wade were followed up by Draymond Green who said,
“I’m all for destroying Barkley. You know, Barkley talk a lot. A whole lot for a guy who has not won a championship. … I think Shaq should talk about the champions. Kenny (Smith) should talk about the champions. Ernie (Johnson) can talk about the champions. When it comes time to speak about someone who has a championship, Barkley should be muted.”
Obviously, these defensive comments of James prompted Barkley to make some additional comments of his own, talking about how the players of this NBA stick together so much and are sensitive because of AAU:
“This new generation, they all stick together, they all play together, they’re all AAU babies,” Barkley said, “Any type of criticism directed toward them, they consider it hate. Even if it’s a fair criticism, they consider it hate. So no, it does not bother me what the new generation thinks, to be honest with you. I know they all stick together, so that’s just part of it too.”
I’m all for players defending other players in this case, but I am also for Barkley expressing his opinion on how he feels, as he has the platform to do so.
So whose side am I on? In this situation, the players got it right.
Again, looking from LeBron’s point of view, with the addition of Durant to the Warriors, and the way they’re looking right now, he’s not wrong in saying that the Cavs need another playmaker.
In Barkley’s day, the league was more balanced team wise. Yes, Jordan and the Bulls did dominate the 90’s, but the talent was more dispersed throughout the 80’s, 90’s, and much part of this new era. It’s only been in these past few years that we have seen players moving to other teams to form these super teams and because of this, it only seems like the Cavs, Warriors and Spurs are the only ones who seem to have a legit shot every year.
So looking at it from that perspective, it’s understandable as to why LeBron would be clamoring for another playmaker in order to match up with the team that he’s likely to face again in the Finals.
As for Barkley, it was wrong for him to ever question the toughness and winning mindset of a player like James who is a three-time champion while Barkley never won one. This is important, and it’s why other championship players like Wade and Green were so quick to defend James.
Barkley questioning the winner’s mentality of a player who has won in this league just isn’t valid. He was an all time player at his position, but many times he found himself as more of a distraction than a true asset. He’s criticizing a player who has rarely been a distraction due to the mistakes that he’s made and has been a role model for many to follow.
Like Wade and Green stated, Barkley wasn’t the best representation of the NBA himself, so for him to question the mindset of another player, especially a player that’s won, is absurd and out of his lane. So yes, I loved Green and Wade’s defense of James because Barkley was out of line in his comments alone.
How do you feel about Wade and Green’s defense of LeBron? Let’s talk about it here or find me on Twitter @Phenombc3