Legendary NBA motormouth Charles Barkley has called out the league for its failure to discipline LeBron James over his breach of coronavirus protocols, claiming that it “doesn’t have the balls” to come down on the LA Lakers star.
Barkley, who was the NBA’s most valuable player when he was starring for the Phoenix Suns in 1993, has echoed many fans by criticizing the league’s response to James being found to have acted outside the rules by attending an event run by a tequila brand he backs.
Despite breaching health and safety protocols when he was one of several A-list guests in attendance, alongside the likes of rapper Drake, reports have said that James will not miss any of the end-of-season playoffs.
“Let me tell you something,” Barkley told Yahoo, qualifying his remarks by adding that he “loved” current NBA commission Adam Silver and his late predecessor, David Stern.
REPORT: LeBron James “was found to be in breach of the NBA's health and safety protocols” when he attended an event with Drake Tuesday night, via @mcten
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) May 22, 2021
“The NBA ain’t got the balls to suspend LeBron James. If it was a nobody, they would put him in health and safety protocols.
“Ain’t no f*cking way LeBron James is going to be sat out because of health and safety protocols.
Looking ahead to the Lakers’ playoffs game with the Suns, he said: “When I read that, I just started laughing. LeBron James is playing Sunday. Guaranteed.”
Warning: video contains swearing
"Ain't no f***ing way LeBron James is going to be sit out because of health and safety protocols."
Charles Barkley weighs in on the NBA and LeBron as only he can 🗣
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) May 22, 2021
Even admirers of the basketball great had to agree. “He ain’t lying,” said one of Barkley’s assessment.
“I’m a LeBron fan but he should’ve been suspended. But the NBA wants money.
“He would’ve missed the first round due to protocol suspension, right? Yeah. No way the NBA would suspend a superstar like LeBron.”
Charles Barkley is the most legendary media personality of all time. Of all time. pic.twitter.com/ORZv1uKLg4
— dad (@GolDKobi) May 22, 2021
Facts. Can't suspend the golden boy @NBA would do anything for him .. going as far as suspending someone in the NBA finals. 🤡🤡🍝
— jaaaysmooth (@smoothjaaay) May 23, 2021
Another critic suggested: “Highly doubtful they’d sweep the Suns if they win the series, so sit him down for Game 1 and every single player in the league knows nobody is above the rules.”
Those on the other side of the fence stated that it “doesn’t make sense to suspend a player who generates most interest and excitement amongst audience”, irrespective of any special treatment.
“Is he wrong, though?,” one viewer asked. “The NBA is a business and they would be making a very poor business decision if they suspend [him].”
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