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LeBron defends Wade: “Charles Barkley needs to shut up”

Dec 11, 2012, 12:50 PM EDT

Atlanta Hawks v Miami Heat Getty Images

Last Thursday, Charles Barkley sat on his TNT soapbox and said that Dwyane Wade‘s game had taken a step back. Wade had just had a 3-of-13 shooting night against the Knicks, which came on the heels of a 9-for-19 game a couple nights before versus Washington.

Barkley said Wade was “starting to lose his athletic ability” and needed to adjust his game, to learn to play below the basket. He said it in the most Barkley way possible.

But the reports of Wade’s decline Wade’s decline have been greatly exaggerated. In the two games since Wade has 52 points on 20-of-25 shooting. He was at the heart of the Heat’s best game of the season Monday, beating the Hawks.

So, LeBron James, you have anything to say about Wade’s performance (via

“It means Charles Barkley needs to shut up,” James said. “I mean, the man [Wade] is shooting 80 percent from the floor the last couple of games. That’s like, crazy, right? That’s why he is who he is. Unbelievable.”

Wade had off-season knee surgery, to expect him to be 2006 Wade out of the gate is a bit much. Wade has pretty clearly not been vintage Wade this season, the question is how much is age and wear and tear — few players throw their body around as recklessly as Wade, although he has curbed that some — and how much is his knee not being 100 percent?

Barkley isn’t wrong — Wade is aging and he is having to adjust his game. He’ll own up to that. It’s just that Barkley saying it bluntly on a national platform isn’t going to play well in the Heat locker room. They are going to defend their own. Plus Wade is still plenty athletic, even now.

If the Wade we see come the playoffs is anywhere near the Wade we saw against the Hawks Monday, Barkley is going to look wrong on this one. Not that he cares.

  1. mrbiz8505 - Dec 11, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    LeBron…… We know you love to hear your own voice…..but shut-up

    • saint1997 - Dec 11, 2012 at 4:51 PM

      hahahah I love how you present that as if he went outside and started preaching to any reporter who would just so that he could hear his own voice. He was asked a question in an NBA mandated post game press conference, what do you want him to do!

  2. thenmoveback - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    Ur telling a guy to shut up for defending his teammate… U need to shut up

    • suckit619 - Dec 11, 2012 at 2:07 PM

      You are just a LeBron fanboy. YOU should shut up!

      • rodyaugu - Dec 11, 2012 at 6:12 PM

        every body shut the hell up

  3. albertmn - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    Right or wrong, Barkley’s job is to talk. That is what he is being paid to do. LeBron can feel free to disagree or not listen to him, and Barkley can be a blowhard at times. But, he is less annoying to listed to than Stephen A Smith, Bayless, or a handful of others.

    • loungefly74 - Dec 11, 2012 at 3:33 PM

      bingo….but i would put CB in the same circle as those other guys.

  4. cspuck7 - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:20 PM

    Wade is probably still fighting back from the gruesome wheelchair ride he took in 2007…Man I’ve never seen a shoulder injury that bad before, I mean the guy couldn’t walk!

    • source7769 - Dec 11, 2012 at 8:17 PM


  5. rayray5227 - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    LeBron needs to shut up. Wade averaging 80% FG. Go back and check your facts

    • miamatt - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:53 PM

      “80% the last couple of games.”

      That is a fact.

      • rayray5227 - Dec 11, 2012 at 7:23 PM

        Except for the fact that Barkley talked bout Wade before that

  6. aboogy123456 - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:28 PM

    most of the NBA Commentators just talk a lot of bs and don’t know what they’re talkign about, so I don’t know why nba players get offended

    • cmehustle - Dec 11, 2012 at 3:08 PM

      Well actually Barkely played in the NBA. So he just might know a little something about that.

      • ulyses20 - Dec 11, 2012 at 5:57 PM

        Just cause he played in the NBA doesn’t mean that he will be a good commentators or know anything about basketball. Look at Michael Jordan, he was the greatest of all time, but he can’t eye talent worth for $hit and he is a horrible owner.

      • badintent - Dec 11, 2012 at 8:17 PM

        Barkely admitted that he never ever played defense. but he did throw dice in the locker room on many occasion.

  7. ninthwardfriend - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Lebron is still very sensitive.

  8. lmoneyfresh - Dec 11, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    But Barkley wasn’t wrong at the time. A few weeks ago, I’m sure more than just Barkley thought Wade was done or on the decline. Why these guys take criticism (especially from Chuck) so personally is beyond me. They created a situation that irked a lot of people and can’t take the heat that comes along with it.

  9. miamatt - Dec 11, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    I would say that I don’t think it was necessary for Lebron to respond to Barkley’s comments, it just fuels an unneccessary news cycle. That being said, if you are going to say anything, back up your teammate.

    Still, it is Charles Barkley’s JOB to talk about players and report what he sees. A lot of former players simply can’t bring themselves to critique current players as analysts. I still think it is premature to declare that Wade is finished less than 25% into an NBA regular season.

  10. suckit619 - Dec 11, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Aww how cute. LeBron defending his BFF. Barkley was right though. Wade has slowed down and Chuck was just doing his job by talking about it. LeBron is the one who needs to shut the hell up. Just play basketball in front of your fake fans and worry about growing your stupid brand! Oh yeah, also worry about which teammates mama Gloria is sleeping with this year

  11. 1historian - Dec 11, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    LBJ has a good point – Barkley should shut up.


    Barkley gets paid GOOD money to shoot his mouth off. Not necessarily to say anything intelligent, mind you, but to shoot his mouth off. If in doing so he attracts the ire of LBJ so much the better and he’ll probably get a raise.

  12. florida727 - Dec 11, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    “Charles Barkley needs to shut up.”

    Translation: he never will. Telling him to only assures he won’t. Nice going.

  13. fotydaze - Dec 11, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    If Kenny Smith made the comment I would understand LBJ being upset. Barkley is a hof former MVP. A dominate 6’4 power forward, he’s qualified to make that comment. Hey Lebron why didn’t you tell chuck to shut up when he said you we better than MJ?

    • badintent - Dec 11, 2012 at 8:19 PM

      Charles has no rings, LBJ has one. Check please.

      • cantonbound13 - Dec 11, 2012 at 9:19 PM

        Robert Horrys has 7. Will Persue has 3. Big deal! Just because you get a ring in a team game does not make you great.

      • badintent - Dec 12, 2012 at 3:00 AM

        You’re right about the rings to a degree but it Can indicate a team player over one that is just a ball hog.As far as Charles as a person is , he has always been about Charles , not his teammates. At least LBJ reached out to Bosh as a friend to join another friend( Wade) to play together as a Team. Rings are won by players playing as Team mates, never just one great superstar. MJ found that out the hard way for the first 6 years of his career. Only one team in NBA history won with only one All-Star, the Golden State Warriors with Rick Barry , a HOFer. And he lowered his scoring , raised his assists and rebounds that year to win his only NBA ring ( he won in the ABA with the Nets)
        I’ll take LBJ as a person over Charles’s many DUIs, speeding tickets, ( at 50 mph over speed limits), assaults, NBA suspensions for hitting refs, and pissing away over $20 million( he admitted to ) in gambling( but claims he has no addiction, only a” problem”). He’s a loser, if he didn’t have the TNT job he’d be flat broke., no NBA team would give him a coaching position with his yap. I’m not a Heat fan.

  14. cmehustle - Dec 11, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    No one can beat father time. Everyone eventually declines, the great ones just add something else to their games and make it seem like they dont. Watch Kobe from 06 to this year. Same thing with Wade. Barkley was only saying he needs to add something to his game to make up for lost athletisicm that will happen over the rest of his career. You know like a jumper…

  15. MightyMoonWorm - Dec 11, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Thanks for playing after the fact LBJ2.

  16. klownboy - Dec 11, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Sounds like someone is a wee-bit sensitive. Let Barkley do his job LeBron – and keep receding that hairline.

  17. theripster30 - Dec 11, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    LeBron seems to have some sort of beef with Barkley. I know I’ve read similar stories in the past. Even though Barkley is old, retired, and has never been LeBron’s teammate, it still feels like Sir Charles is banging LBJ’s mother.

  18. michaeljordanseviltwin - Dec 11, 2012 at 3:50 PM

    Why is there so much debate over exactly who should shut up? Barkley wasn’t out of line because he’s correct. Wade has slowed down from superstar athlete status to star veteran status. The real issue is What’s good for the Heat? I believe last year it became LeBron’s team and that it was a significant part of the championship. First year there was too much of Wade trying to outplay his teammate; now he’s accepted his #2 rank and is only trying to do everything he can to win. The chemistry is better and if Wade can play another few years at this level the Heat will continue to contend for championships.

  19. dko83 - Dec 11, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Used to not be able to stand Charles.. Until I realized he speaks the truth all the time. He’s right. Wade is declining and everyone sees it. Still can’t really blame Lebron for defending his friend/teammate.

  20. Chris Fiorentino - Dec 11, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    The funny part is that Charles laps LBJ more than Kurt does. And didn’t Sir Charles do some pretty funny commercials with Wade when he was a World champion loooooooooooong before LBJ joined the team? LOLZ at LBJ. Has his ring, but still hasn’t grown the Christ up.

  21. fanofevilempire - Dec 11, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    Stephen A Smith and Skip Bayless said LeBron has no right to say that Barkley should shut up, that is the most craziest thing I have ever heard. I just want to know who gave all these experts the right
    to say half the shit they say. These people at ESPN think they shit don’t stink.

    • fanofevilempire - Dec 11, 2012 at 5:17 PM

      Barkley can voice his opinion as a analyst and former player, he has credibility.
      LeBron can and has a right to defend his friend and teammate
      This is America,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

      Wade is looking old on some night’s, I’m just saying…………..

  22. gmsingh - Dec 11, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    Kurt, why don’t you get back to us about how Wade is playing when he’s been in 90 games this season. Assuming he even makes it that far.

  23. hmax13 - Dec 11, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Barkley is more expressive than Helin any day of the week and without all the typos.

  24. stoolerz - Dec 11, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Barkley is a loud mouth, but still has more class than the entire Heat locker room.

  25. mungman69 - Dec 11, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Everybody shut up.

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