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Charles Barkley ‘disappointed in’ LeBron James for hinting at retirement after getting swept

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Charles Barkley remains upset with LeBron James.

Following his Los Angeles Lakers getting swept in the Western Conference Finals, James, 38, told reporters he was contemplating retirement.

Barkley said the next day that he was annoyed that the conversation had been about James rather than the Denver Nuggets’ dominant performance.

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Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is ejected after fouling Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

The NBA Hall of Famer’s sentiments have not changed in the days since.

On “The Pat McAfee Show,” Barkley said he was “disappointed in LeBron” for controlling the narrative.

“I was disappointed in LeBron. He had to know that these fools on TV were gonna talk about it all the time. I got so frustrated the other day watching television. The first two stories were LeBron retiring, not about how great the Denver Nuggets played. How great [Nikola Jokic] is,” he said.

“And hell no, LeBron isn’t gonna retire!”

Charles Barkley in 2023

Former basketball player Charles Barkley for the Auburn Tigers after their game against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neville Arena on March 4, 2023, in Auburn, Alabama. (Michael Chang/Getty Images)

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Barkley said on Tuesday night that he “actually turned the TV off.”

After the Game 4 loss, James floated the possibility of retirement before the 2023-24 season. 

“We’ll see what happens going forward,” James said. “I don’t know. I don’t know. I’ve got a lot to think about, to be honest. Just for me personally going forward with the game of basketball, I’ve got a lot to think about.

LeBron James shrugs

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James gestures to a referee during the first half in Game 3 of an NBA basketball Western Conference semifinal against the Golden State Warriors Saturday, May 6, 2023, in Los Angeles.  (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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“I guess I’ll reflect on my career when I’m done, but I don’t know. The only thing I concern myself with is being available to my teammates, and I don’t like the fact that I didn’t play as many games as I would have liked because of injury. That’s the only thing I care about is being available to my teammates.”

If James does not retire, he will be playing in his 21st season.



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