"Reporters should never get into it with players. That's just my rule of thumb because we get paid to talk about these guys," Barkley said Wednesday during an interview on Sirius XM NBA radio, "And if you hate guys or don’t get along with guys, you’re going to be somewhat biased whether you believe it or not."
Sharpe, who co-hosts "Undisputed" on Fox Sports 1, got into a back-and-forth argument with Dillon Brooks before halftime of Friday's game with the Grizzlies and Los Angeles Lakers. Sharpe then escalated things by standing up to yell more, which prompted Brooks, Ja Morant and Steven Adams to approach him before being separated by security at Crypto.com arena in Los Angeles.
Sharpe, a Pro Football Hall of Famer, apologized for his actions with a three-minute statement on Monday. The Grizzlies have not made additional comments since Friday and face the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.
Barkley hasn't been shy about calling out fan behavior in the past or criticizing players. Earlier this season, he said Morant needs to evolve and make his teammates better. Morant and several Grizzlies were quick to respond to dismiss Barkley's comments.
During last year's playoffs, Barkley criticized fans involved in an altercation with Chris Paul's family and suggested players should be able to fight unruly fans. He didn't go that far with Sharpe and the Grizzlies but he didn't condone Sharpe's actions.
"I'm not saying anybody was right or wrong but I'm saying as a guy who's on television, I could never get into it with the players. That's just my rule of thumb," Barkley said.
This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Charles Barkley criticizes Shannon Sharpe for Grizzlies altercation