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.