Kyrie Irving caused quite a stir after declining to talk to the media as per his contractual obligations. The Nets star made matters worse after calling out the people in media as “pawns” after the league slapped a hefty fine. Former player Charles Barkley lashed out at Irving for his antics and labelled him as an ‘unprofessional’
The former eleven-time NBA All-Star stated that Irving really needs to stop thinking that he is smarter than everybody else. He also expressed his confusion at the point that Irving is trying to make with his actions.
“I’m not sure what he’s doing. I don’t like it,” Barkley said of Irving. “They don’t pay you 40 million dollars just to play basketball. Part of it is sitting down with you guys, sitting down with me and Kenny [Smith] and Ernie [Johnson] and [Shaquille O’Neal], talking to New York reporters.
“Being with the media is part of your professional obligation, and you can say what you want to say. But these guys today, they’re different. I don’t hate on them, but I’m not sure what point Kyrie is trying to make,” Barkley said during an interview with KJZ on ESPN Radio
Charles Barkley continues to lay it into Kyrie Irving
The former MVP award winner did not stop there and continued to call out the Brooklyn Nets player and asked him to simply act like a professional.
Moreover, he claimed that basketball players are not getting paid in millions for just playing on the court and asked him to just stick to talking about basketball at the end of the day. It is necessary to fulfil the obligations mentioned in the contract added Barkley.
Now can you talk about social issues and things like that? Of course. But some of this other stuff I’m like ‘yo man, you do realize you’re just a basketball player, right?’ And it seems like he’s like ‘no I want you guys to know I’m the smartest guy in the room.’ Well first of all, you’re not. You only went to college for six months.
A lot of guys are smarter than you are. Just answer stupid basketball questions. And if you want to say something about social justice, say it and mean it, because it’s important and significant. But all that other stuff? Like, yo man, shut the– up and talk basketball.” Barkley concluded