Tragedy struck the basketball world this past Saturday when 22-year-old Chyna Thomas, the sister of Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas, died in a car crash. When Thomas courageously took the court the following day for Game 1 of his team’s playoff series against the Chicago Bulls, he was in tears prior to the game.
The following day, on TNT’s pregame show prior to Celtics-Bulls, Charles Barkley and the studio crew discussed Thomas’ situation. Barkley said Thomas’ crying made him “uncomfortable.” His comments drew a wide range of reactions, including plenty of criticism.
On Tuesday’s Inside The NBA show, Barkley fired back at the critics and further explained his original comments:
“I want to address something that really bothered me,” Barkley said. “I heard that all these nitwits, fools, idiots were complaining what I was saying about Isaiah Thomas the other night making me uncomfortable. Number one, I don’t care what y’all think. I don’t care what your mom and daddy think either, just for the record. But to insinuate what I was trying to — what I was saying, I’m uncomfortable talking about his pain and then going to basketball. For all you nitwits, scumbags, idiots, punks, to try to make that a story because y’all don’t have ratings and use my name to draw ratings, don’t do that. You don’t have any talent, it’s the simple fact, you don’t have any talent. Let me be me.
“I’ve talked to Isaiah. He didn’t take any offense to that. What I was talking about, I wish him and his family nothing but the best. For you punks to try to make a big deal out of it, it just pisses me off.”
Here were Barkley’s original comments on Sunday night:
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 16, 2017
“I’m not sure what to say — I’m not feeling comfortable with him sitting on the sideline crying like that,” he said on the pregame show. “That makes me uncomfortable. So that tells me he’s not in shape to play. I mean, I don’t know how this night is going to turn out, but to be sitting on the sideline a few minutes before the game, crying, that just makes me uncomfortable for him.
“That’s just not a good look for him, in my personal opinion. I mean, he is clearly devastated, like we all would be if we lost a sibling, but sitting on the sideline right before the game, that makes me uncomfortable.”
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