Charles Barkley is never one to bite his tongue when it comes to speaking about things he has a passionate opinion on. The NBA Hall of Famer called into ESPN show Get Up Wednesday (March 6) and had some pretty harsh criticism of NBA commissioner Adam Silver and sounded off on Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving. ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Williams fired back at Chuck and didn’t hold back.
Tone deaf—that’s what former the Duke Basketball star had to say about Charles Barkley comments on NBA players dealing with mental health issues. Barkley —during his phone interview with Mike Greenberg —had an extremely negative reaction to Adam Silver’s comments regarding a lot of player being unhappy and social media being one of the culprits.
“I think those players we’re talking about — when I meet with them, what strikes me is that they’re truly unhappy.”
Barkley, when asked about Silver’s comments, said it was the “dumbest” thing he has ever heard any commissioner said.
“I think that’s probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard Adam say. Listen, he’s a great guy. But that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard any commissioner say.”
“These guys are making 20, 30, 40 million dollars a year. They work six, seven months a year. We stay at the best hotels in the world. They ain’t got no problems. That’s total bogus.”
Barkley followed those comments up by slamming Kyrie Irving calling him one of the “most miserable” people he has ever seen.
“Kyrie Irving, I don’t know him that well. He seems like a good kid. But I’ve never seen a person so miserable. To have so much success. To have the world in the palm of his hands.
“He’s gonna make 40, 50 million dollars a year for the next 10, 15 years. He’s already won a world championship. He’s in the movies. But he’s got to be one of the most miserable people I’ve ever seen.”
Jay Williams, during Thursday’s episode of Get Up when asked about Barkley comments, broke down why he felt his fellow retired NBA brethren comments were out of line and only make it more difficult for players dealing with anxiety and depression to open up about their battles with the mental issues.
“You may have made money and been a superstar, but you don’t walk in their shoes of those individuals. So show empathy towards that and let’s help people saying that ‘I have issues,’ instead of attacking them. I get pissed off about that.”
We will be patiently waiting to see if Chuck responds to Jay Williams during tonight’s NBA on TNT pre-game show and we know Ernie, Kenny, Shaq will touch on the subject. Mental health issues have become a topic of discussion in the league after All-Stars Kevin Love and DeMar DeRozan as well as Williams openly spoke on their battles with panic attacks and depression.
Barkley comes from a different era which feels that players aren’t “tough enough,” but it’s clear Chuck could use a bit of sensitivity training on the subject.