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Charles Barkley laughs off scathing comments by LeBron James: 'Clearly he did some homework'

Charles Barkley laughs off scathing comments by LeBron James: 'Clearly he did some homework'
LeBron James, right, went on a rant Monday night about recent criticism from NBA analyst Charles Barkley. (John Locher / Associated Press; Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

LeBron James has had enough of Charles Barkley and his seemingly constant criticism.

"I'm not going to let him disrespect my legacy like that," James told reporters Monday following the slumping Cleveland Cavaliers' latest loss, 104-97 against the Dallas Mavericks.

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Barkley, the basketball Hall of Famer who is now an analyst for "NBA on TNT," recently referred to James as "Inappropriate. Whiny. All of the above."

"I'm not the one who threw somebody through a window. I never spit on a kid," James said. "I never had unpaid debt in Las Vegas. I never said, 'I'm not a role model.' I never showed up to All-Star Weekend on Sunday because I was in Vegas all weekend partying.

"All I've done for my entire career is represent the NBA the right way. Fourteen years, never got in trouble. Respected the game. Print that."

During a radio interview Tuesday, Barkley laughed off James' comments but didn't back down from his criticism of the Cavaliers star.

"I was laughing. Clearly he did some homework. ... He Googled me and found some things," Barkley said on ESPN Radio. "He was young when I was playing, so I appreciate that, but I'm not upset about it. ... My criticism was fair, and I'm good with that."

Barkley added: "Some of the stuff he said about me is correct — doesn't make the message I said about him incorrect."

In the past, Barkley has said James would never break into the top five on a list of the league's all-time best and called the player's switch to the Miami Heat as a free agent a "punk move."

Barkley's recent criticism was in reaction to James' publicly complaining about Cavaliers' management.

James initially had little to say when asked about those comments, stating that they were "good for the ratings." But when ESPN tried to get an opinion on the matter from Cleveland's Tristan Thompson, James decided to speak up.

"And if this makes him want to talk to me, the schedule's out there," James said of Barkley. "He knows every road arena I'll be in. Don't just come up to me at All-Star and shake my hand and smile."

The four-time league MVP and three-time NBA champion also lashed out at another recent critic, New York Knicks President Phil Jackson, who angered James late last year by referring to the player's business associates as his "posse."

"I'm here to win ballgames and take care of my teammates and take care of my, what's that word? Oh, my 'posse,' " said James, who also told of getting snubbed by Jackson when the Cavaliers played the Knicks in New York two years ago.

As James left the locker room Monday night, he told reporters: "I'm tired of biting my tongue. There's a new sheriff in town."

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Twitter: @chewkiii

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UPDATES:

Feb. 1, 7:25 a.m.: This article was updated with comments by Barkley on a radio show.

This article was originally published Jan. 31 at 8:30 a.m.

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