Last night, LeBron James finally began to retaliate against his round, mumbling harasser, Charles Barkley. This came as a balm to any LeBron fan who’d been exposed to Chuck’s cattle-prod takes on Inside the NBA, which abandon even the veneer of basketball analysis in favor of ahistorical trolling. Among those cheering Bron on today is his pal Dwyane Wade, who praised James for defending himself against “that guy on TV” and stoked the flames a bit himself. “We all have flaws. But when your flaws are a little bit more, you should shut up,” he said, and here’s the whole speech per Tribune reporter K.C. Johnson:
Thank God he finally said something. LeBron, a lot of guys take a lot of shots at him—for whatever reason. He has just kept his mouth closed and continued to focus on what he needs to. But it’s about time he said something, man. Guys ride him, especially ex-players. When you have a history, when you can go and Google your history, you better be a little careful with what you say. Sometimes, when guys get a microphone in front of their face, they just talk and talk and talk and forget about their history. We all make that mistake, but especially that guy on TV. He acting like he just walks on water. And I like the fact that LeBron called him out and told him about himself a little bit. Humble yourself. LeBron is who he is. We all have flaws. But when your flaws are a little bit more, you should shut up. I’m glad LJ finally said something and stood up for himself from that standpoint. He said there’s a new sheriff in town. So I’m excited to see what’s next.
We sense that the Banana Boat crew—now 14-year veterans—believe they’ve soundly established their positions at the top of the game, and don’t take kindly to old-timers coming at them with wagging fingers and nostalgia for how basketball used to be played. Already this season we’ve been treated to Carmelo Anthony-Phil Jackson triangle beef and the LeBron-Phil Jackson “posse” beef (which cropped up again in James’s comments last night), and hopefully the second half holds many more intergenerational beeves to come.