Charles Barkley offered some more disdainful words about Draymond Green on Thursday, calling the Warriors forward’s comments about James Dolan “asinine and stupid.” Green had said the Knicks owner was displaying a “slave master mentality” in his acrimonious dealings with Charles Oakley.
“You’re doing it for me, it’s all good,” Green said Wednesday on his podcast, “Dray Day,” claiming that Dolan was fine with Oakley’s take-no-prisoners approach when the rugged forward was intimidating opponents in his playing days but that the owner couldn’t handle it when a retired Oakley had occasion to criticize the oft-struggling Knicks. “But now you’re doing it against me, or you’re speaking out against my organization, it’s not good anymore?
“That’s a slave mentality — slave master mentality. That’s ridiculous. It was all fine and dandy when he was laying people out, taking fines and all this stuff for your organization. But now all of a sudden when he says something that he feels, it’s a problem.”
“That is just stupid,” Barkley said on an Atlanta sports-radio show. “I don’t think you ever use basketball analogies to compare to slavery when guys are making 20, 30 million dollars a year. I just think that’s just stupid.”
Barkley noted that “the Knicks have been very disrespectful to Carmelo [Anthony],” which was another of Green’s points, but he said, “to compare guys making 20 to 30 million dollars to slaves is just asinine and stupid.”
It was the second time this month that Barkley had occasion to call out Green for comments the all-star forward made on “Dray Day.” Earlier in February, Green had weighed in on LeBron James’s evisceration of Barkley, in which the Cavaliers star had responded to criticism from the TNT analyst and ex-player by reciting a list of Barkley’s past off-court incidents before saying, “Screw Charles Barkley.”
“I’m all for destroying Barkley,” Green said on his podcast. “You know, Barkley talks a lot. A whole lot for a guy who has not won a championship, which I have stated multiple times. . . . I like to see somebody destroy Charles Barkley like that. Then I stepped back and I said, ‘Okay, that’s a little too far LeBron.’ Then I thought about it again and I was like, that’s an accumulation of stuff. Hey, may the best man win. I think LeBron won that one.”
Asked to respond to those comments, as well as similar remarks in support of James made by Dwyane Wade, Barkley told ESPN that the “new generation” of basketball stars are “all AAU babies.” He added, “Any type of criticism directed toward them, they consider it hate. Even if it’s a fair criticism, they consider it hate. So, no, it does not bother me what the new generation thinks, to be honest with you.”
Green is not likely to think very highly of Barkley’s most recent criticism, and neither is Oakley, whose continued antipathy toward Barkley goes back to their playing days. After Barkley had earned James’s ire by saying that the Cavs forward’s public demand for his front office to get him a “playmaker” was “inappropriate” and “whiny,” Oakley tweeted that Barkley needed “to stop drinking at work.”
“The guy hates me and I don’t know why,” Barkley said of Oakley to the Sporting News on Thursday. “But I don’t give it much thought. I don’t know why. I just kind of laugh at it.”
Dolan, meanwhile, earned widespread criticism for suggesting that Oakley had problems with alcohol abuse in a statement issued following the ex-forward’s highly publicized arrest at Madison Square Garden last week. Oakley, among the most beloved Knicks ever by their fan base, vehemently denied that allegation, and even after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Michael Jordan personally intervened to broker peace between the ex-forward and Dolan, he wasn’t ready to let bygones be bygones.
“It can’t just end because we had the meeting,” Oakley told Sports Illustrated on Thursday. He said he thought the NBA was trying to send “a message” of positivity going into its All-Star Weekend festivities and that “they were trying to make themselves look good” instead of “really trying to solve the problem.”
“I told them I’d rather go to jail than for them to be saying they did something for me,” Oakley said of the Knicks, who had pressed misdemeanor charges. “That’s how bad this is for me. I’d rather go to jail.”
Oakley described Dolan to SI as “definitely a control freak,” adding that the Knicks owner has “everyone in the Garden on pins and needles.” He said, “The other owners know this, they’re going to end up letting something happen like what happened to the L.A. Clippers [with Donald Sterling]. It’s that bad and they won’t talk about it. It’s that bad.”
“This thing has been an embarrassment for the Knicks,” Barkley told the Sporting News. “It has been an embarrassment for Charles Oakley, it has been an embarrassment for the NBA, to be honest with you. The whole thing is just silly and stupid. I can’t believe this has happened this much longer.”