Tell us how you really feel, Charles.
Charles Barkley isn’t one to mince words and the NBA on TNT analyst made it clear on Tuesday’s show how he felt about those criticizing his comments about Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas–who played in the game one day after losing his younger sister in a car accident.
Barkley had said the image of Thomas crying before the game “makes me uncomfortable.”
“That tells me he’s not in shape to play,” Barkley said before the Celtics-Bulls playoff series opener Sunday night. “To be sitting on the sideline a few minutes before the game crying, that makes me uncomfortable for him. That’s just not a good look in my personal opinion.”
The comments drew criticism, with some wondering if Barkley crossed a line.
On Tuesday Barkley had a message for those critics.
“Number one, I don’t care what y’all think, I don’t care what your mom and dad think either just for the record,” Barkley said. “But to insinuate what I was trying to say, er, what I was saying I’m uncomfortable talking about his pain and then going to basketball.
“For all you nitwits, scumbags, idiots, punks to try and make that a story cuz y’all don’t have ratings and use my name to draw ratings: don’t do that. It’s a simple fact you don’t have any talent, let me be me. I talked to Isaiah, he didn’t take any offense to that, but I was talking about–I wish him and his family but the best. But for you punks to try and make a big deal about it, it just pisses me off.”
“Obviously,” host Ernie Johnson responded.
“Ok, I’m good now,” Barkley said.
It didn’t end there.
Fellow analyst Kenny Smith also chimed in, coming to Barkley’s defense.
“What’s comfortable about a young man having a tragic death in his family?” Smith asked. “There’s nothing comfortable about that. It is the definition of being uncomfortable. I felt uncomfortable, I felt pain for him. …I was getting emotional when we were coming back on air I had to turn away because I was emotional for him. And that is the definition of uncomfortability.”