LEBRON James found an unlikely ally in veteran Matt Barnes, who suited up for the Golden State Warriors team that disposed of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals last June.
Appearing on Fox Sports 1’s ‘Undisputed’ on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time), Barnes spoke up in defense of the Cavaliers superstar following a video of the Warriors’ Stephen Curry making fun of James during former Warrior Harrison Barnes’ wedding to the delight of wantaway Cavs guard Kyrie Irving.
The video has created a stir online and ‘Undisputed’ hosts Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe discussed the issue with Barnes, who didn’t think Curry and Irving meant any disrespect as it was more of a spur of the moment with the players having fun in a wedding celebration.
But the 15-year NBA veteran only had praises for James after they met in the NBA Finals, won by the Warriors in five games.
“I mean, hands down, his reputation speaks for itself. To average a triple-double, what he did out there was amazing,” said Barnes of James, who averaged 33.6 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists in a losing effort for the Cavs.
“But also with Kyrie’s (Irving) ability to score. They were a two-headed monster. We were just really deep this year. We had a lot of different guys who could play a lot of different positions and guard. They just didn’t have enough. But you can never downplay his ability,” he added.
The free agent forward, however, insisted that people should appreciate James more while he’s still playing, instead of scrutinizing and hating on the four-time NBA MVP.
“I think people get caught up so much in hating on him (LeBron James) instead of sitting back and realizing you’re witnessing history. He’s one of the best players to ever do it,” said Barnes, who is not surprised with the hate James takes in this age of social media.
“We live in a world where it’s okay to hate. We give people without a voice on social media a voice and a platform to express their opinion,” he added.