Charles Barkley to Kyrie Irving: ‘Stop acting like you’re the smartest person in the world’

Nick Friar
·2 min read

Kyrie Irving spoke with New York media on Monday, addressing everything going on with him — even his “pawns” comment that seemed to be directed at all members of the media. Still, some aren’t satisfied. Among those who are sick of Kyrie Irving is Hall of Fame forward turned TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley, who laid into Brooklyn’s point guard during an appearance on ESPN Radio Thursday.

“I’m not sure what he’s doing. I don’t like it,” Barkley said. “You know, 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. Talking 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.”

“And when he talks I’m like ‘what the hell is he trying… what is he saying and what is he trying to say?’ He starts talking about what an artist is. He’s a basketball player. That’s what he is. Listen, we’re not… we’re not frontline responders. We’re not teachers. Yo man, you dribble a basketball, stop acting like you’re the smartest person in the world.

“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 realize 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 hell up and talk basketball.”

Given the length of the rant, it’s hard to imagine Irving could actually ever find a way to win Barkley over. The Hall of Famer seems pretty upset.

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