Lebron James vs Charles Barkley started when Chuck landed a pretty good Right Hook at Lebron, criticizing how he’s handled the recent issues of the Cleveland Cavaliers. At that point, this war of words had only begun. Things really heated up when Lebron responded by taking jabs at Sir Charles, bringing up a few not so good incidents of his past. Some, Barkley acknowledged were true, others he denies.
The King laid it on thick. And truth is, his rant was way overdue. Lebron is the face of the NBA, and for good reason. Charles saying he “doesn’t he want to compete,” was wrong. Lebron proves that on and off the court, every night. However, he still hears the criticism from so called experts all the time, and Barkley is easily one of his biggest critics.
On the other hand, James calls the Cavs ‘top-heavy.’ He’s right. But, hello? They were top-heavy last season as well. That’s what happens when three players make max money on one team.
That said, there’s a way to handle things. It’s obvious the Cavs aren’t playing near their best right now. But, there are many factors contributing to that. It’s far from just a personnel issue. Wanting the best for your team is one thing. But, calling out the organization in the media is another. Calling out teammates for not playing well should be kept in the locker room.
All in all, both parties make valid points about each other. But, something else has to be eating away at Lebron. That thing just might be the Golden State Warriors…..or to be more specific, Kevin Durant playing for them. But, first let’s look at this little Lebron James vs Charles Barkley thingy…..
Chuck the Hater?
During his rant, Lebron also called Charles a ‘hater.’ Which, to be fair, to a certain extent, may be true. After all, Chuck did fail to win an NBA Title during his career. Whereas, Lebron has already won three. Also, despite being one of the NBA’s best players ever, Chuck’s Bank account can’t match the stars of today.
Lebron has a point. Charles is always extra critical. Whether, it be about a player like Lebron, a team like the Golden State Warriors, the NBA as a whole, or the women in San Antonio. Charles is old school, and it’s no secret the old school dudes just don’t like the new school NBA.
However, even if Chuck is hating, he kept his comments strictly to basketball. Chuck, is of course an analyst on TNT’s Inside The NBA. He gets paid to have an opinion about the NBA. Oftentimes, we may not agree with a thing he has to say. But, that really doesn’t matter. Charles is the star of Inside the NBA. He’s the reason many tune in to the show at all.
Lebron going personal and digging back into Chuck’s past, as far back as his playing days in Philadelphia, may have been a little too much. But, Charles saying he doesn’t want to compete makes the rant more warranted. This rant shows just how much pressure is still on ‘The King’? Lashing out in the media at teammates and now at Barkley, just isn’t very Lebron-like, even if it is warranted.
Decision time again?
One thing that is very Lebron-like is the fact that he leads the NBA in minutes played per game this season. However, one reason for that is the Cavs thin bench. At least it’s void of any real playmakers. It would be nice if Tyronn Lue could give his superstar some extended rest, but it’s nearly impossible right now.
The Cavs just don’t look like the same well-oiled machine that we saw win it all last season. It’s understandably bothering Lebron. But, there’s really not much difference between this team and last year’s team, where subpar play cost then-head coach David Blatt his job.
It’s not like Cavs owner Dan Gilbert and his staff have done nothing. They made moves to re-sign J.R. Smith, who’s injured. The Cavs just traded for Kyle Korver a couple of weeks ago. It’s just that Korver isn’t the player he used to be. That move made some sense, but it never looked like a move that would move the needle much anyway. But, let’s not think Lebron didn’t have a say in that deal with the Hawks getting done. The Cavs also added Channing Frye last season.
Let’s also not forget the moves to get players like Mo Williams to Cleveland before last season. Williams, at one time was a guy who could handle the ball and score, something the Cavs sorely need off their bench. But, Willams got hurt last season, and that ultimately rushed him into retirement.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have the highest payroll in NBA history. When it’s like that, it gets a bit more difficult to make deals. Plus, when you’re the champs, not many teams are going to jump at the chance to help you.
Where have we heard this before from Lebron?
Calling out the Cavs’ organization because Lebron felt not enough was being done to make the roster better is nothing new. Remember in 2010, Lebron’s sentiment towards the Cavs’ organization was much the same. That sentiment led to Lebron taking his talents to South Beach when they failed to reach the NBA Finals that season.
So, is it crazy to think that Lebron could make another ‘decision’ if things aren’t more to his liking in Cleveland? It more than likely won’t happen. But all bets are off if the Cavs somehow don’t make it to the NBA Finals this season. At least this time around Lebron has one more year before he’s able to opt out in 2018.
Now, that’s out of the way. Let’s talk about Kevin Durant and the Golden State Warriors. Again, that team that Lebron says aren’t a rival.
Maybe it is a ‘Rivalry’ after all
Lebron is teammates with two other all-stars. Only one other team can say that. The Golden State Warriors. Maybe, just maybe, Lebron’s biggest issue isn’t with his own team. Maybe, just maybe, it’s that team by ‘The Bay’ that he has an issue with. You know…..the team he’s says the Cavs aren’t rivals with. The team the Cavs met in each of the last two NBA Finals. Seeing Steph Curry, Draymond Green, and Klay Thompson have Kevin Durant to play with is probably what has Lebron seeing red right now….or maybe seeing the Warriors’ blue and gold.
The Warriors beat down the defending champs in Oakland on MLK Day. Lebron, has seemingly been salty ever since. But, he contends the Cavs vs Warriors isn’t a rivalry. Whatever, Lebron.
While, the question of the day is the Lebron James vs Charles Barkley rivalry, the bigger picture is the rivalry on the court. That rivalry will likely be settled in June.
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