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“Reporters can never get into it with players” - Charles Barkley offers an insightful take on the Shannon Sharpe incident

Chuck shared his rule of thumb, even though it doesn't seem like he always abides by it.
Current host of Undisputed and Denver Broncos former tight end Shannon Sharpe (left); NBA Hall of Famer and current analyst on "NBA on TNT," Charles Barkley (right)

Shannon Sharpe, Charles Barkley

Shannon Sharpe's altercation versus several Memphis Grizzlies players (and dad) in the team's recent loss to the Los Angeles Lakers resulted in varying reactions. While the controversial host has already apologized for his actions, it's natural for some people to still talk about it. 

Charles Barkley recently gave his two cents, offering sound advice to Sharpe and others in the industry, stating that they should avoid clashing with players.

"Reporters can never get into it with players," Barkley said. "That's my rule of thumb

Knowing the limits

The Hall of Famer appeared on "NBA Today" and was asked by the show hosts about the issue.

"We get paid to talk about these guys. And if you hate guys or don't get along with guys, you're gonna be somewhat biased, whether you believe it or not," Chuck continued. "Television's a very powerful vehicle. You got to be really careful because people believe everything we say, unfortunately. So, I'm not saying anybody was right or wrong. But I'm saying, as a guy who's on television, I can never get into it with the players. That's just my rule of thumb."

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It's common for reporters and hosts to offer criticisms for players' dismal performances. Some of them even rail against the athletes for personal reasons. But Sharpe may have crossed the line last Friday, considering his line of work. It also didn't help that he seemed unapologetic right after the Lakers-Grizzlies game.

The NFL legend may have attended the game as a fan or LeBron James' groupie, but he probably should have still been mindful of his stature as an NBA personality, even if he disliked the Grizzlies so much.

There will always be bias.

Barkley implied that those in his profession have to avoid biases. However, the fact of the matter is that having an affinity or disdain for certain players and teams is difficult to avoid, even for hosts and analysts. There are even some of them who have profited from such biases.

For instance, Sharpe is a renowned LeBron superfan. He has made a living out of it by regularly going at it with Skip Bayless, who is a known James hater.

Even Chuck has gone at other players on air. There was a time when he had a beef going with Draymond Green, even stating once that he wanted to punch the Golden State Warriors in the face. The brash talkers eventually patched things up.

Perhaps the difference is that Barkley doesn't attend live games as a regular audience and then confront players from his seat.

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