LeBron James has a message for Charles Barkley: He'd better bow down and pay respect to the King!
After the Hall of Famer and TNT's Inside the NBA analyst called King James "whiny" last week for stressing that his Cleveland Cavaliers must strengthen their roster to repeat as NBA champs, LeBron smacked Chuck with some scathing comments of his own.
More than anything, James took offense to Barkley saying that he doesn't "want to compete."
"He's a hater," James told ESPN about Barkley following the Cavs' 104-97 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night. "What makes what he says credible? Because he's on TV?"
The three-time NBA champion and future sure-shot Hall of Famer proceeded to rattle off many of Barkley's indiscretions during his 16-season career, citing them to say that he's unqualified to criticize him.
"I'm not going to let him disrespect my legacy like that," James continued telling 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."
He added, "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."
And King James was just warming up, adding that Chuck can pull up on him and see him man-to-man if he has a problem with what he's saying.
"I know he wanted to retire a long time ago, but he can't," James said. "He's stuck up on that stage every week. And if this makes him want to talk to me, the schedule's out there. 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."
Bron dunking Sir Charles with this ether stemmed from Chuck criticizing him just a few days ago. Last week, Barkley thought it was unfair of James to publicly pressure the Cavs to bolster their roster just months removed from their 2016 league championship victory.
"Inappropriate. Whiny. All of the above," Barkley said of James on Inside the NBA. "The Cleveland Cavaliers, they have given him everything he wanted. They have the highest payroll in NBA history. He wanted J.R. Smith last summer, they paid him. He wanted [Iman] Shumpert last summer. They brought in Kyle Korver. He's the best player in the world. Does he want all of the good players? He don't want to compete? He is an amazing player. They're the defending champs."
That same stance had Barkley catching major heat from his TNT colleague and fellow Hall of Famer Shaquille O'Neal, who said Charles is clueless about pulling off back-to-back championships since Chuck has zero titles to his name.
When it comes to Charles and LeBron, though, James made sure that Chuck understands one thing.
"I collect one paycheck from this," James said. "There's the owner, Griff's [David Griffin] the GM, I'm the player. Screw Charles Barkley. I'm tired of biting my tongue. There's a new sheriff in town."
Think Barkley will take up James's offer to pull up and speak to him?
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(Photos from left: Jason Miller/Getty Images, Scott Halleran/Getty Images)