The heartbreaking footage of Isaiah Thomas crying and being consoled by teammate Avery Bradley moments before the Boston Celtics-Chicago Bulls playoff game yesterday will be etched in the minds of hoop fans and beyond for a long time.
The Celtics' All-Star guard broke down just hours after losing his sister, Chyna, who died in a one-vehicle car accident on Saturday in the state of Washington. She was 22.
While many NBA players showered Thomas with their love, condolences and heavy hearts for somehow gathering enough strength to play in the game, Charles Barkley said he felt "uncomfortable" watching him cry on the sidelines, while adding that it's "just not a good look." Many felt Barkley's comments were his warped way of trying to police when men are allowed to cry.
Well, needless to say, Chuck spent much of Sunday night and all of Monday being dragged to hell and back for his reaction.
That being said, with all the Barkley bashing going on, there are those fans who think that Barkley was being sympathetic and was voicing his discomfort watching Thomas cry and experience that level of pain as if to say that the Celtics' guard shouldn't have been on the court and perhaps with his family, instead.
Despite the tragedy, Thomas managed to score 33 points in the Celtics' loss. He'll play Game 2 tomorrow night, fly back home to Washington and be back in time for Game 3 of their playoff series in Chicago on Friday night.
Here's Barkley's controversial comments followed by the dragging of the TNT analyst that ensued. Was he trying to be sincere and just used the wrong words or was he heartlessly lacking compassion?
"I'm not feeling comfortable with him sitting on the sideline crying like that," Barkley said on TNT's Inside the NBA yesterday. "That makes me uncomfortable. That tells me he's not in shape to play. To be sitting on the sideline a few minutes before the game crying, that makes me uncomfortable for him. That's just not a good look in my personal opinion."
And that's all it took for people to come for Chuck's head.
He walked into this backlash.
No stranger to controversy, we all know that it's very hard for Sir Charles to be quiet about anything.
That's one way to look at it regardless of how callous Barkley might have sounded.
It's possible, we guess.
Sheesh! Gotta be careful about the way you say things, even if you're Charles Barkley and you're known for shooting from the hip.
(Photos form left: John Lamparski/Getty Images, Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)