On last Thursday’s edition of TNT’s Inside the NBA, Charles Barkley criticized LeBron James for the way he has reportedly butted heads with the Cavs front office over how the team has spent money. Barkley said LeBron was being “inappropriate” and “whiny” and questioned LeBron’s competitiveness.
Instead of letting the shots roll off his back, LeBron fired back and called Chuck a “hater” and questioned the TNT analyst’s credibility.
“He’s a hater,” James told ESPN of Barkley following the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 104-97 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday. “What makes what he says credible? Because he’s on TV?”
LeBron didn’t stop there and went at Chuck for his questionable behavior during his career:
“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.”
Getting riled up, LeBron didn’t stop there and took a shot at Phil Jackson for not saying hello to him when James went to see the Knicks play a game two years ago:
“I went to see Melo at the Garden two years ago when we were in New York,” James said. “They played Portland. I went up to a suite at halftime, and Phil Jackson didn’t say one word to me.”
“I’m here to win ballgames and take care of my teammates and take care of my, what’s that word, oh, my ‘posse,'” James said, animatedly.
Finally, LeBron finished up by saying that he’s done biting his tongue:
“I’m tired of biting my tongue,” James said. “There’s a new sheriff in town.”