Charles Barkley has never been known to mince words or shy away from controversy, whether that includes openly criticizing various current and former players, thumbing his nose at the analytics movement, or suggesting that black people are responsible for the police violence committed against them. Just today, he circled back to his old polemic about how jump-shooting teams like the Warriors can’t win championships.
But his latest controversy has to do with NBA 2K17. The wildly-successful video game franchise prides itself on its authenticity, which stems from all sorts of league-related aspects that appear therein. One of those happens to be TNT’s Inside the NBA crew, which in real life features Barkley, Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kenny Smith, who do the pre-game and halftime shows.
However, 2K players have noticed that Barkley has been conspicuously-absent on recent versions of the game. He apparently is available as a player but is not featured as part of the TNT crew. On Tuesday, he finally offered some clarification as to why:
Barkley says his likeness is not in NBA2K because they declined his request that they give $ to retired players in exchange.
— Howard Beck (@HowardBeck) October 18, 2016
There weren’t many details beyond that, such as which retired players he believes should receive money and/or how much of the company’s proceeds should be allotted for such an endeavor. So for now, 2K players will have to do without his witty banter and hot takes.