All hell has broken loose following Charles Barkley's statements against LeBron James, whom the former NBA superstar and TV analyst described as "whiny" after publicly demanding for a playmaker during the Cleveland Cavaliers' recent slide.
The three-time champion finally snapped and called Barkley a "hater," while digging up some of the latter's skeletons. The Round Mound of Rebound, for his part, asserted on the Waddle & Silvy Show that he would stick to what he said and not make this personal.
He added, "I was laughing, clearly he did some homework...he Googled me and found some things. He was young when I was playing, so I appreciate that, but I'm not upset about it...my criticism was fair and I'm good with that."
This isn't the first time Barkley has found himself in a word war with someone from the league. His brutal frankness, even in his playing days, has earned him love and hate from the basketball community. If anything, this is just another entry in the Chuckster's long list of verbal spats.
Barkley VS DeMarcus Cousins
In a 2014 Bleacher Report article, the Sacramento Kings big man opened up about his ill will towards the Hall of Famer. As if Barkley was right in front of him during the interview, DeMarcus was quoted as saying, "I have no respect for you and I never will. We have nothing to talk about. So, yes, every time we see each other, there will never be words."
Apparently, the bad blood stems from a time when Chuck attended one of Boogie's high school games, where Barkley called out the latter's immature approach to the game.
Charles related, "I made a very conscious effort not to be too hard on him. I said he had a chance to be really good; I just told the reporters afterward that I was a little disappointed. Since then, I've also said he could be the best big man in the game if he'd just grow up. He's never had a strong coach that held him accountable. I wish he'd had a Pat Riley or Gregg Popovich or George Karl or Doc Rivers that would've held his feet to the fire."
Barkley VS Scottie Pippen
The former Houston Rockets teammates' word war escalated when Pippen left for the Portland Trailblazers after their failed teamup with Hakeem Olajuwon in the twilight of their careers.
"I gave up more than anybody to get Scottie. And for him to want to leave after one year has disappointed me greatly," said Barkley in a prior TV interview.
Pippen then responded in a conversation for ESPN's SportsCentury series. "I wouldn't give Charles Barkley an apology at gunpoint. He could never expect an apology from me. If anything, he owes me an apology for coming and playing with his sorry fat butt," the six-time champion stated.
"He's a very selfish guy. He doesn't show me the desire to want to win, and that's my reason for wanting to get away from playing with him anymore. And I probably should've listened to Michael a year ago when he said Charles will never win a championship because he doesn't show any dedication."
Charles would return the favor in front of reporters, joking, "As you know, I always carry a gun with me. So there is a chance. I'm going to go to my truck and get my gun and see. So if I get arrested for murder you all know he didn't apologize."
Barkley VS Charles Oakley
His beef with the other Charles can be traced back to the time the two brought the pain on separate occasions—during a preseason game and a union meeting. The fire got reignited when Barkley said that the Atlanta Hawks "gotta take somebody out" from the Cleveland Cavaliers for taking too much three-pointers—to set a record—in Game 2 of the 2015 Eastern Conference semifinals.
Oakley, a Cleveland native, didn't take the comments too kindly, tweeting:
Barkley addressed the post on Inside the NBA: "Charles [has always disliked] me, which is no big deal. I don't like him or dislike him, I don't think about him. He's not important for me to think about... He doesn't like me, I have no idea why."
It seems Oakley wasn't done yet, butting in on his rebounding rival's recent statements through Twitter:
Barkley VS Michael Jordan
Once the closest of friends, Sir Charles and His Airness found their relationship on the rocks following the former's criticism of Jordan as an executive. Last year, Charles shed light on the touchy subject on the Seth Davis Show:
"I think [Jordan] was offended by some things I said about him on television. One of the reasons I don't trust the media is you can't have a double standard for guys you like and dislike. I said Michael wasn't doing a good job—he's doing a great job now, [the Charlotte Hornets have] gotten better, they've made some great signings—but they weren't doing good and I thought he didn't have good people around him. And I said that, because I was asked that question. Your job is to be an analyst. It's not to protect your friends... No, he's not feeling that."
No wonder his colleagues, particularly Kenny Smith, love to tease him about it (Skip to the 3:30 mark):