Charles Barkley called out Dwyane Wade the past two weeks, and LeBron James says the TNT analyst needs to “shut up” now that Wade proved him wrong.
The Miami Heat have appeared on TNT’s nationally televised game the past two Thursdays. Barkley has gone after Wade’s play while discussing the games on “Inside the NBA.” He has said that the Miami Heat guard is older and no longer attacks the basket the way he used to. He also has said that the Heat won’t win another title the way Wade has been playing.
Wade shot 10-for-30 in those two TNT games, averaging just 16 points.
When asked on Saturday about Barkley’s criticism, Wade seemed to indicate there was a rift between them.
“I forgot all about that guy,” he said, according to FOX Sports Florida’s Chris Tomasson.
Though Wade brushed aside Barkley’s criticism, the comments seemed to inspire him.
Wade shot 9-of-12 for 26 points in a win over the Hornets on Saturday, and he went 11-of-13 for 26 points in a win over the Hawks on Monday. The strong performances prompted LeBron James to come to his defense.
“Charles Barkley needs to shut up,” James said after the Heat’s win over the Hawks Monday, via the Sun-Sentinel.
James did admit there was one positive aspect to the criticism.
“I love it,” he said. “When someone’s not saying stuff about me, I’m glad somebody finally got off me for a change.”
That seems to be Barkley’s game. He attacked LeBron James relentlessly the first season after James left for Miami, but then he was gushing over LeBron all last season, repeatedly calling him the best player in the league.
Chris Bosh seems to have Barkley pegged.
“They have to keep their audience involved through saying something controversial,” Bosh said of the TNT crew, via Chris Tomasson. “(Barkley) gets people’s attention but we don’t worry about that.”
Wade also said he doesn’t listen to the criticism, but he did offer a strong defense.
“I really didn’t listen to the noise. I didn’t pay attention,” he said. “I never really concerned myself with the noise outside.
“I’m not the leading scorer around here for nothing.”
Barkley inspiring Wade is probably a good thing for Miami, especially after the team’s players said they were struggling to find motivation this season. Unfortunately, though, it seems like Barkley is no longer in Wade’s Fave Five.