"He's A Hater": Lebron James Vs Charles Barkley

After Monday night's loss in Dallas, James decided that “taking the high road” was no longer acceptable as he took unveiled shots at Barkley over his criticism. Over the past few weeks, James has been open and candid with the media, consistently calling out Cleveland management by pinpointing the weaknesses in the Cavaliers roster and stating that adding more playmakers in addition to bringing in a big man are priorities that must be addressed. James even said last week “We’re not better than last year from a personnel standpoint.”

Charles Barkley took issue with Lebron’s comments and stated his opinion:

"Inappropriate. Whiny. All of the above. 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 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."

    

In response, James said of Barkley:

“He's a hater, what makes what he says credible? Because he's on TV?....I'm not going to let him 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. 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…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…I'm tired of biting my tongue. There's a new sheriff in town."

This isn’t the first time that Barkley has been critical of James over the summer. Barkley said that James would never be counted as one of the top five players to have ever played the game. In addition, after “The Decision” in summer 2010 when James joined the Miami Heat, Barkley said it was a “punk move”.

Given the amount of criticism Barkley has heaved in James’ direction over the years, it comes as a surprise that James has only now decided to respond in such a sharp fashion. Still, as Lebron said, “there’s a new sheriff in town”, and it’ll be very interesting to see how matters continue to unfold going forward.