On Wednesday, Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving told reporters that he called LeBron James to apologize for “being that young player” during their time together with the Cleveland Cavaliers that yielded an NBA title but fell apart when Irving demanded a trade.
“I had to call ‘Bron and tell him like, ‘I apologize for being that young player that wanted everything at his finger tips,'” Irving said. “I wanted everything to be at my threshold. I wanted to be the guy that led us to championships. I wanted to be the leader. I wanted to be all that.”
Many looked at Irving’s statement as an acknowledgment that his desire to be the focal point of a contender was misguided and led to the dissolution of a contender too soon.
Barkley’s not buying it
That was not the message TNT analyst Charles Barkley heard. During the network’s NBA coverage on Thursday, Barkley had harsh words for Irving, believing his statement was a veiled message blaming his Celtics teammates for the team’s struggles this season.
Chuck wasn't feeling Kyrie's comments about calling LeBron to apologize. pic.twitter.com/H1FELmze4t
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) January 18, 2019
“He threw the guys under the bus,” Barkley said. … “I didn’t like it at all. It seemed like he was saying, ‘We’re losing because of these guys. They’re young, they don’t know how to win.’
“They made it to the Eastern Conference finals without him last year. You don’t have to tell people you’re a leader. Just be a leader.”
Celtics not off to hot start they envisioned
The Celtics are in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with a 26-18 record a year after posting the second-best record in the East and making the conference finals in a playoff run that didn’t include an injured Irving.
Irving: ‘How do I get the best out of this group?’
Barkley seems to take particular issue with this point from Irving, where he suggested he knows how to improve a team that performed better without him in the playoffs last year than with him so far this season.
“What that brought me back to was like, all right how do I get the best out of this group with the success that they had last year, and then helping them realize what it takes to win a championship?” Irving said.
In short, Barkley’s calling B.S. And as per usual with Barkley, he’s not being shy about raking a guy over the coals when he smells something he doesn’t like.
More from Yahoo Sports:
• Turkey seeks arrest warrant for NBA star
• Atlanta mayor clarifies Saints Super Bowl remark
• The real reason for NFL playoff star’s weight gain
• Paylor: ‘Redshirt’ year big for Mahomes