Charles Barkley to Kyrie Irving: “Shut the fuck up”

A lot of people have heard enough of Kyrie Irving – even though his latest round of controversy has come with the added irony of his refusal to speak.

Count Charles Barkley among them.

NBA Hall of Famer and TNT analyst, who never shy away from his own opinions downloaded on Irving on Thursday in an interview with ESPN Radio. His criticism echoes those of others who turned a blind eye to Irving’s short-lived press boycott.

Irving has made several statements in the past two weeks, trying to explain why he has not fulfilled his collective bargaining media obligations. After a $ 25,000 round of fines for him and the Brooklyn Nets, he gave up while taking another hit to explain himself.

“It’s just about how we feel about mistreating certain artists when we get to a certain platform or when we make decisions in our lives to have full control and ownership,” Irving said. “We want to perform in a safe and secure space.”

Barkley: “What are they trying to say?”

Barkley rushed to Irving’s explanation. He starts at 4:58 here:

“I’m not sure what point Kyrie is trying to bring,” Barkley said. “And when he speaks, I say to myself, ‘What the hell is he trying to do – what is he saying or trying to say? “He starts talking about what an artist is. He’s a basketball player. That’s him.

“Listen, we are not answering the first line. We are not teachers. Dude, man, dribble a basketball, stop acting like you’re the smartest person in the world. “

While Barkley threatened to venture into “silent and dribbling” territory, he returned to the course and encouraged Irving to use his platform to talk about social issues. He could do without the rest of Irving’s sketch.

Former NBA basketball player Charles Barkley speaks to the crowd in support of Alabama Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones during a rally at the Old Car Heaven in Birmingham, Alabama, December 11, 2017. REUTERS / Marvin Gentry
Charles Barkley on Thursday gave a passionate voice to Kyrie Irving’s critics. (Marvin Gentry / Reuters)

Barkley: “Many guys are smarter than you”

“Now can you talk about social issues and things like that? Of course. But some of these other things are like, “I, man, you realize you’re just a basketball player, don’t you?” And he seems to be saying, “No, I want you to realize I’m the smartest guy in the room.”

“I say to myself, ‘Well, first of all, you’re not. You only went to college for six months. Many guys are smarter than you. Answer stupid basketball questions. And if you want to say something about social justice, say it and say it, because it is important and significant. But all the other things? Like, man, shut the hell up and talk about basketball. “

But does Irving touch a nerve?

In the grand scheme, Irving’s wrong steps are largely minor. He says things that are not always based on reality. He spreads misinformation, which has its obvious dangers. He is arrogant about his beliefs. He makes questionable decisions. And he can be a difficult teammate. That’s about it.

In general, people are not here for the condescending meditations of a pseudo-intellectual who embraces the theories of the flat earth. It is an attitude that provokes passionate responses.

He induced one from Barkley on Thursday.

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