Jan. 24, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: TNT announcer Charles Barkley court side prior to the game between the Phoenix Suns against the Los Angeles Clippers at the US Airways Center. The Suns defeated the Clippers 93-88. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Charles Barkley: “Fans in Miami Are Not Real Fans”

Talking with ESPN Radio’s Scott Van Pelt and Ryen Russillo this afternoon, TNT announcer Charles Barkley reared his stupid, bald head.

“I’ve always thought [LeBron James] was going to go back to Cleveland,” Barkley said. “Nobody dislikes LeBron. I think LeBron made a huge mistake with that ‘Decision’ crap. He’s come back and since admitted that. That’s the only thing people hold against LeBron.

“He’s a great player, a great person. I hope he goes back to Cleveland. Those fans in Miami are not real fans, those fans in Cleveland are real fans. I’ve always hoped he would go back to Cleveland. That would be a great way to finish his career.”

(H/t to Barry Jackson, Miami Herald)

So what if Barkley thinks LeBron is going back to Cleveland? He has no information confirming that may be so. That’s his opinion and he is entitled to it. So what if he thinks the ‘Decision’ was a bad idea? Many people do.

But calling out Miami Heat fans and saying we aren’t “real fans?” That’s out of bounds, Chuck. Without getting into a debate about what constitutes a “real fan,” can’t we get past this? Or, at least, stop talking in such generalities.

(Plus, let’s stop acting like the Cavs didn’t have their share of bandwagon fans when LeBron was in Cleveland. Everyone tends to forget this. So now that they suck the fans are quote-unquote real? What a load of shit.)

Sure, more fans are flocking to AAA since LeBron signed, but that’s the business behind any sports franchise—get a good team and you will make more money. People want to see LeBron, that’s why the Heat sell out every road game.

Chuck could have easily said he hopes and always thought LeBron would go back to Cleveland. That would have been fine.  I was starting to warm up to Barkley, too, and then he goes and says this.


Tags: Charles Barkley Lebron James Miami Heat

  • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

    Chuck is just likes to stir the pot. His “opinions” don’t come from his mouth, and they don’t come from his heart. I’ll give you one guess where he is talking out of.

    You watch any team that is down by 6+ with under a minute left, and their fans will start to leave the building. Indiana fans were bailing with about 90 seconds left in the game the other night, so I get sick of this standard of convenience. “Miami is popular, so liking them makes you bad.”

    I live in Tennessee and have been a Heat fan since 2004. I’ve ridden the Wade roller coaster. I loved Shaq’s bombast and personality. I love Mourning’s comeback from his health problems. I have a soft spot for the 12-15 foot baseline jumper because of Haslem. I lamented that Riley didn’t stay ahead of the game after the championship. I rode out the Wade and nothing else years. I lamented that Beasley didn’t fulfill his promise. I celebrated when the Heat put together their current core.

    So am I a “bandwagon fan” just because I don’t live in Miami and haven’t had the pleasure of attending the game (I’m a rabid NBA fan but have never been to any game)? No! Even if I did have a team that I could identify with regionally that would hardly invalidate the fact that I love the Heat rain or shine.

    I just get sick of the talk about “real” fans when the definition being used to criticize has nothing to do with being a fanatic.

  • Jimmy

    I’m not sure he was talking about bandwagon fans, but more like… how do I put this…

    But the type of fan base that tends to always come late, leave early…. specially when down. Boo’s easily and often. It’s hard to really put in concrete terms…..

    I think a good example would be a few weeks ago, the Nets fans were compared to the Raptors fans. It wasn’t specifically about bandwagoning per se (all though I can understand the link. I guess one could assume bandwagoners would be more apt to being bad fans versus “real” fans… but let’s move past the label of bandwagon) more like the type and amount of support the fans give to their team both in the good times and bad.

    Not saying Heat fans = Nets fans, but I think, I think from where Barkley is coming from, it is similar.

    • disqus_atlq8Zmtsd

      I absolutely detest leaving early, but let’s be real about fans leaving before the game is over. That happens just about everywhere. Indiana fans are supposedly corn fed “real” fans but were streaming out of the arena in droves before the game was over.

      I didn’t see any derisive posts about how foolish Indiana fans are. it was actually the opposite. Instead of killing fans for giving up on the team, they were talking about how the team let down the fans by losing.

      We can talk about the late arriving crowd, but Barkley specifically said that Miami doesn’t have real fans. I call BS!
      oh, and those “real” Cleveland fans didn’t stick with the Cavs by showing up for the games this year as well as Miami fans did in the much worse 2008 season. That is a verifiable fact.


  • Jimmy

    Oh, and @disqus_atlq8Zmtsd:disqus

    You say you have not been to a game. I think the situations they are talking about, while certainly related to all fans, is most pointed at the fans attending the game. The fans at the game are who can most directly add fuel to the fire during the action.

    Sure it definitely makes a difference knowing a whole city or region is behind you, but listening to a lot of athletes, they often talk about either getting the home crowd going or silencing it while on the road. It is what makes home court an advantage. Your fans at the game going crazy for you, and simultaneously throwing barbs at the other team.

  • David Roman

    So I guess all black people are thugs and in jail for selling crack, huh Chuck? And all poor white folk live in a trailer & have a hitch on the back where they make meth, huh Chuck? And everyone in California smokes bud and surfs, huh Chuck?

    See where I’m going with this? You just sound ill-informed and stupid when you make generalizations.

    Miami has real fans, I happen to know a few.. The heat have been my team since childhood, I’m 27 now. I don’t need some loud mouth shit for brains, who think cause he speaks said shit brain that what comes out of his mouth is something people need to hear, or is in some way an educated response.

    • Giovanny Gallardo

      U may be a real HEAT fan but there no doubt miami fans are fickle.ive live in miami for 17 years ive been a sports fan all my life ive seen how the fans reacted to bad sports teams and u chouldnt give away a ticket to be quite honest,once the heat signed lbj everybody became a heat u know most of also having leave in this country or been basketball fansbecause we all know u cant watch basketball in cuba

    • fire115

      Sorry but leaving the arena 5 minutes before the end of the game when its NBA FINALS and your teams is defending champions is nothing less than sacrilege, out of all the teams the heat is the team to comeback from any deficit. Sure we saw the real fans stay and i must it did not look like there are many, and problem is you will never see such disgrace at the finals in san antonio or okc or boston or new york or la or…

      • David Roman

        Dude, people leave games in any & every city. The media just doesn’t make it a point to bring it to your attention.

        Again just cause 60 to a 100 fans decided to leave doesn’t mean much. The majority of the people, stayed but let’s just point out and call the 60 – 100 all the fans

        • Ace Ace

          Yeh it’s a big conspiracy against Heat fans. Heat fans are a joke. l sorry for the players on Miami Heat that have to have them as their fanbase. Everyone in the sports world knows Heat fans are bandwagon fans.

          • David Roman

            I’m sure you know everything Ace. You just sound dumb and bitter when you say all heat fans are bandwagon fans.

  • Miami Jules (Julian)

    Too soft of a reaction… I don’t think Charles Barkley is a real basketball player either, he just happens to be tall and can push smaller people around… He is much less of a basketball analyst and much, much less of an evaluator of anything because he lacks the intelligence to do so. He strictly relies on his clownish ability to say things that are so stupid that it leaves people talking about it for days in the absence of anything relevant regarding basketball. Mine is an opinion too except in this case, it’s more valid than anything Barkley ever says much like I don’t put a lot of serious credibility on anything comedian and imitator Frank Caliendo about what other comedians on sports shows have to say, the difference is Caliendo is at least funny.

  • zeibodique

    Charles Barkley is jealous. The only fans he’s ever had were the ones from the fast food restaurants he visits around the country.

  • Deacon Galligher

    I hope, the next time Barkley comes to Miami to call a game, the fans DESTROY him. Throw every piece of food, garbage, clothes … anything you have at his fat head. Someone’s gotta teach this ignorant racist fool that just because you can put anything into your mouth doesn’t mean you can let anything out.

    He displays this kind of stupidity just to get a rise out of people. So… Lets give it to him.

  • Alexander Burnett

    Chuck, your English is not real English.

  • bjwalker82

    Chuck is prone to saying these types of things. Many times there is a grain of truth to his statements.

    This is one of those times.

    I know some “real” fans of the Heat. They are cool. Still hard for them to make up the 90% of Heat “fans” who barely know what basketball is.