Charles Barkley is under fire again for doling out controversial commentary, but he doesn’t care about your opinions about it. On Saturday (April 15), Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas lost his 22-year-old sister, Chyna, in a car accident and was visibly shaken up at the game the next day. During the pre-game commentary on Inside the NBA, Barkley expressed his discomfort with seeing Thomas crying on the sidelines before Game 1 of the Celtics vs. Chicago Bulls series.
“I don’t know how this night is going to turn out. But to be sitting on the sideline a few minutes before the game, crying, that makes me uncomfortable for him,” he’d said. “That’s just not a good look, in my personal opinion.” Sports critics and fans quickly ripped into him, deeming his comments insensitive, although he was likely referencing Thomas’ ability to perform during that game. Today, Barkley was quick to silence mouthy “nitwit” and “scumbag” trolls and media outlets for twisting the backstory behind his comments.
“I want to address something that really bothered me,” Barkley said tensely. “I heard that all these nitwits, fools, idiots were complaining what I was saying about Isaiah Thomas the other night making me uncomfortable. Number one, I don’t care what y’all think. I don’t care what your mom and daddy think either, just for the record. But to insinuate what I was trying to — what I was saying, I’m uncomfortable talking about his pain and then going to basketball. For all you nitwits, scumbags, idiots, punks, to try to make that a story because y’all don’t have ratings and use my name to draw ratings, don’t do that. You don’t have any talent, it’s the simple fact, you don’t have any talent. Let me be me.”
His co-hosts echoed his sentiments. Both before and after the broadcast, Barkley had reached out to Isaiah with his condolences.
“I’ve talked to Isaiah,” he continued. “He didn’t take any offense to that. What I was talking about, I wish him and his family nothing but the best. For you punks to try to make a big deal out of it, it just pisses me off.”