Charles Barkley in his current role as a TV analyst
There was some serious drama in the world of the NBA this week. So much so that most of the news on the NBA had more to do with the verbal spat between LeBron and Barkley then anything actually related to the game of basketball. For those that don’t know, Barkley has had a history of criticizing James. Now, all this criticisms have been basketball related, if not sometimes bordering on the hypocritical (talking smack about LeBron changing teams and talent searching when he did the exact same thing). But whatever it was about what he said this time around, it seemed to strike a serious nerve for LeBron. For the entire comment made by LBJ, you can click here, but the general gist was as follows; James feels his legacy speaks for itself when compared to Chuck’s, and does not appreciate him calling him “whiney” in the least.
I’m unsure of whose side to be on in this argument. On one hand, Chuck was doing his job and commenting on a basketball player, but on the other, he has a history of taking the same outdated issue with James, questioning his competitiveness and his resolve. It would get on anybody’s nerves, but to deal with these kinds of comments from people basically from the time you were 15 years old and up would take the resolve out of anyone. So for now I stand by LeBron (and not just because it was supremely entertaining to read his roasting of Barkley.) When it comes to legacy’s, Chuck does not come even close, and once more, questioning LeBron’s competitiveness is just plain dumb. If he was not supremely competitive, he wouldn’t be pushing for a new point guard in the first place. We are talking about a man who single handedly pushed a crazy good Warriors team to six games in the 2015 finals. Alas, whomever’s side you land on, I think one thing can be universally recognized; this back and forth between LeBron and Barkley has been fun to watch.
Word Count: 350
Should LeBron be blaming anybody but himself for the Cavs lack of a playmaker?
I am almost invariably a LeBron fanboy, and I will defend him in any situation and for just about anything. I fell in love with his play style as a kid and I have never looked back. And, I might add, most of the time my defenses of him are well thought out and based in fact. But his last statement to the media has left me a bit stumped. For the first time in my life I can’t defend LeBron, and here is why.
First, a little back story. After the Cavaliers lost to the Pelicans this past Monday (who were without their hands down best player, Anthony Davis), making it a streak of 5 losses in 7 games for them, LeBron lost his temper a bit in the post game interview. This lead to him having some choice words to say about the state of the team. Do I disagree that they could use one more playmaker? Most certainly not. The NBA is now more then ever a league where a team has to have great depth to have chance of winning a championship, with more emphasis on guys that can do it all at multiple positions. That being said, if anybody is to blame for the Cavaliers front office not grabbing them a playmaker, you would have a good argument in saying it is LeBron; here is why.
LeBron has not (and will never again) hurt for money since he was 18 years old. Before he had ever played an NBA game he signed a contract with Nike worth 90 million dollars. 90. Million. It is estimated that in his now 14th season in the L, he has made 595 million dollars in salary and endorsements. He has a legit chance at becoming the second athlete (behind the great Michael Jordan) to be worth a billion dollars when its all said and done, and that will probably come a lot sooner for him then it did for MJ (who was 50 when he reached the billion mark). This being said, if he wants better teammates, take a smaller salary. This year the Cavaliers are paying James a total of 31 million. How much would it hurt LeBron to take a smaller deal, maybe only make a paltry sum of 20 million, and free up a bunch of cap space for a better back up point guard? I don’t think that he will have to take a mortgage out on his house if he lost a few mill of of his salary. So, there it is; I criticized LeBron. It hurts a little bit, but it had to be done.
Word Count: 449