In a scenario that has played out countless times, Charles Barkley used his TNT platform to express a controversial opinion. Usually it ends with Barkley getting the last word — typically the only word, since he's paid to talk and players are paid to play.
But Chuck went after LeBron James last week, piling on after he had been critical of Cleveland management for the team's roster construction. Said Barkley: "He's the best player in the world. Does he want all of the good players? He don't want to compete?"
These kinds of sound bites draw viewers. Indeed, that was James' initial reaction to the comments: "good for the ratings."
Given another swing at it a couple of days later, though, LeBron went on the attack — dredging up Barkley's past. He told ESPN:
"I'm not going to let him disrespect my legacy like that. I'm not the one who threw somebody through a window."
Read Michael Rand's blog at startribune.com/randball. firstname.lastname@example.org.