Charles Barkley's tip to LeBron: Loosen up

September, 19, 2011
Haberstroh By Tom Haberstroh
Charles Barkley may not be doing his halftime show anytime soon, but the lockout isn't keeping him from entertaining us on television.

Barkley caught criticism from Miami Heat fans this past season for, well, criticizing the Miami Heat for their look-at-me antics in 2010-11. And he'd like to extend some more advice to LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat this offseason.

Barkley appeared on "Dan LeBatard is Highly Questionable," last Friday to talk with Miami's multimedia man about a variety of hardwood topics. Barkley has an interesting background with the Heat, considering that he and Wade have starred in T-Mobile's ad campaigns together.

Predictably, the Heat came up in LeBatard's questioning, and here's what went down:

Have you done real damage to your friendship, to your relationship with Dwyane Wade? Is there real damage done there by your criticism?

Dwyane has become like the Miami group, a little whiny. You know, Dwyane's a great guy. LeBron's a great guy. They're both great players. I've never criticized them as a basketball team. I did criticize them for that decision when they came around on stage, dancing like idiots, talking about how they were going to win five or six championships. And he's a little sensitive about that, but I know I'm 100 percent right to criticize that stuff.

First piece of advice you'd give LeBron James right now.

Stop taking himself so seriously. He's a great, great player. He's a really good dude. I would ask him to go and talk to Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan ... those guys who are really great like him. Every person who's a star or who's famous or rich or whatever, should always go talk to an older person who has been in that situation.

Watch the first half of the interview with Barkley (3:30 mark for Dwyane/LeBron talk):

Later on, LeBatard's father and sidekick on the show (or is it the other way around?) asked Barkley if his opinion of the Heat will change when the Heat win a string of titles. Barkley's response:

"Well, Dan. Multiple means you've already won one. So when they get the first one, we'll talk about multiple down the line. You have to get one before two"

To which LeBatard's father countered with a sharp line about Barkley's title status:

"I realize that that is really difficult for you to understand."

Tom Haberstroh

ESPN Staff Writer



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