LeBron James and Charles Barkley reconciled after a cold war of a few years, triggered by the latter’s trade demands to the Cavs front office.
It wasn’t so long ago that there were no superteams in the league. But then came along the summer of 2010, and lo and behold, we saw these players begin the era of player power in the league.
Many old heads don’t like how openly players of the current generation demand roster changes and trades. Charles Barkley particularly was a little peeved with James for being such a demanding player:
“LeBron James’ comments were inappropriate, whiney – all the above. The Cleveland Cavaliers have given LeBron everything he asked for. They had the highest payroll in NBA history.”
“They brought in JR Smith last summer, they brought in Iman Shumpert last summer, Kyle Korver. He’s the best player in the world. Does he want all the good players? He doesn’t want to compete?”
“He is an amazing player. They’re the defending champs, and for him to try to hold anything over Dan Gilbert’s head? It just pis*es me off that a guy that great doesn’t want to compete!”
LeBron James fired back at Charles Barkley with an interview to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin
James didn’t mince any words while hitting back at the Hall of Fame sportscaster and NBA legend. In his eyes, Barkley is hypocritical when he holds LeBron to higher standards than the Chuckster followed himself:
“He’s a hater. What makes what he says credible, because he’s on TV? I’m not going to disrespect to let Charles Barkley disrespect me like that.”
“I’m not the one who threw somebody out the window. I never spit on a kid. I never had unpaid debts in Las Vegas, I never said ‘I’m not a role model’ and I never showed up to All-Star Weekend on Sunday because I was out partying in Las Vegas all weekend partying.”
James’s decision to call Barkley out for being essentially the NBA’s bad boy of the 90s worked well. The two of them buried the hatchet in the coming years and shared a few laughs at the 2021 All-Star Draft.