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Charles Barkley’s lesson to players facing criticism “You can't get mad if you played like s**t”


Charles Barkley is one of the most beloved NBA personalities for a reason. Chuck is a TV analyst not afraid of lambasting players if they played poorly. In the era of social media, where every comment and interview gets twisted, magnified, and scrutinized, Sir Charles offers his take on how players should take criticism. 

You can't get mad if you played like s**t

Barkley was a guest on The Sessions podcast hosted by Renee Paquette, and he gave some tips on how players should take the perceived attacks from the media. Charles had been in trouble for saying things that probably could have been said better, but he’s not regretting anything - even if it costs him a friendship.

MJ and Barkley used to be close, but the former Phoenix Suns star questioned Jordan’s way of managing his team, which didn’t sit well with the 6-time NBA champion. The two never mended fences since then. For Charles, he just said what was he thought was true. Here's Barkley's advice on not taking things too personally.

“The first thing I asked myself when a guy write an article about me, you have to look at it and say wait well I did play bad so I really can't go at the dude. That's what I tell every guy because you know I talk to guys all the time. The first thing you ask yourself, ‘Is it true?’ and you can't get mad if a guy like you did play like shit last night. What do you want me to say on TV and say you played great? Everybody just saw you.”

Charles Barkley, ">The Sessions

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The former MVP added that players tend to call him when he says negative things about them that were legit, but they never call him when he said good things about them. For Barkley, he follows this rule in life, so he’s able to dish out criticisms and, at the same time, take them without making it personal.

Difference between Stephen A Smith and Barkley 

Both of them make a living calling out players and making controversial statements, but what separates Chuck and  Stephen A. Smith is that the latter criticizes players even if they should not have been criticized. Stephen A. claimed that if the Brooklyn Nets fail to win a title, which is a real possibility given the team’s losing streak, Kevin Durant would be remembered more as someone who left Stephen Curry to join Kyrie Irving. Durant fired back, and his mother also had to chime in. 

What Smith did wrong here is that KD left Golden State with good intentions and things happened beyond his control. No one could have predicted the injuries, the COVID scare, the trades, and Irving’s vaccination stance that derailed the championship dreams of the Nets this season. Kevin played hard every night and never created drama despite what was happening. Calling him out if Brooklyn doesn’t win the title this year is just wrong. 

Barkley would not have said those things, although Sir Charles and KD also had a history of feuds in the past; the two, however, mended fences during an interview in November 2021. 

Smith and Barkley are both great in what they are doing and have different approaches to their analysis and opinions, but Charles’ way of calling out players and letting them talk to him to clear things out seems to earn more respect from the players than Smith.

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