LeBron James on Charles Barkley: 'He's a hater'
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James finally has had enough of Basketball Hall of Famer and TNT Inside the NBA analyst Charles Barkley commenting on his career.
James went off on Barkley after the Cavaliers lost to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, days after Barkley called James "whiny" for saying the team needed another playmaker to make a repeat run at the NBA championship.
“I’m not going to let him disrespect my legacy like that,” James told ESPN. “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," James added.
James continued his criticism of Barkley, saying he remembered watching an NBA Finals games from 1993 when Barkley's Phoenix Suns played the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan.
"Go watch the '93 Finals when John Paxson hit the shot," James said. "Barkley and Jordan were laughing and joking with each other during one of the games while somebody's shooting a free throw. In the Finals. But, oh, nobody were friends back then."
The Suns lost the series in six games and Barkley retired years later without winning a title. James has won three championships in his career.
"And if this makes him want to talk to me, the schedule's out there," James said. "He knows every road arena I'll be in. Don't just come up to me at All-Star and shake my hand and smile."
"I'm tired of biting my tongue," James said. "There's a new sheriff in town."
Cleveland has lost six of its last 10 games and still leads the Eastern Conference by 2.5 games over the Boston Celtics.
- Scooby Axson