AFTER being called a “hater” by LeBron James who also reminded him of the unsavory highlights of his basketball career, TNT analyst Charles Barkley said he is standing by his criticism of the Cleveland Cavaliers superstar.
"I stick by what I said, I'm not going to make this personal ... he was all whiny last week," Barkley said during an interview on ESPN Radio’s Waddle & Silvy show on Tuesday (Wednesday, Manila time).
Barkley maintained that he was "good and straightforward,” adding he was “never going to get personal on an NBA player."
The outspoken NBA legend described James as "whiny" last week for going public with his demands that the Cavs needed to bring in another playmaker to help him and fellow All-Star Kyrie Irving.
"Inappropriate. Whiny. All of the above," said Barkley after James’ rant last week. "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 (LeBron) 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."
James lashed back on ESPN on Monday by taking some personal shots against the Hall of Famer, saying that he will not allow Barkley to "disrespect my legacy like that."
"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," said James. "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."
Asked to respond to James’ comments, Barkley said he took no issue.
"I was laughing, clearly he did some homework ... he Googled me and found some things," Barkley said. "He was young when I was playing, so I appreciate that, but I'm not upset about it ... my criticism was fair and I'm good with that."
Barkley said he has no plans to start pulling his punches.
"Some of the stuff he said about me is correct -- doesn't make the message I said about him incorrect," Barkley said. "Some of them are intimidated about LeBron [but] I'm not intimidated at all."