Originally written on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 6/22/12
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Charles Barkley is on the list of great NBA players who never won a title. LeBron James had won three regular season MVP awards before winning his first NBA title, but at age 27 and in his 9th season in the league, he finally won one.

Barkley said on NBA TV after Game 5 on Thursday that he was happy for LeBron.

“As someone who never won an NBA championship, I always root for the great players,” Barkley said. “Myself, Karl Malone, John Stockton … we didn’t win it. That’s the cross we got to bear.

“I was happy for LeBron James. He’s been the best player in this league for a long time. Tonight, I’m happy for LeBron James,” Barkley said.

Sir Charles has been kissing LeBron’s butt the past several months, repeatedly calling him the best player in the league. And after hearing his praise of James, it’s easy to forget how much negativity Barkley directed toward the Heat over the past few years.

Barkley was one of the Heat’s biggest critics when the team formed in the summer of 2010. He called out the Heat (and LeBron) for making several “punk” moves, resulting in a public battle with Pat Riley. He continued his tune last year when he called them a “whiny bunch.” Barkley was so critical of LeBron that Nike even called him about it.

Charles has apparently made up with LeBron, but the two years he bashed them shouldn’t be forgotten. Maybe an apology is also in order.

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