Barkley apologises for ‘punch’ comment
THERE'S one reason to root for the Warriors to reach the Western Conference finals.
Charles Barkley and Draymond Green had a quickly escalating feud on Tuesday night, local time.
It started with Barkley saying, "I just want to see somebody punch him in the face" as a shot of Green and Pelicans guard Rajon Rondo showed on the screen at half-time of the Warriors' 121-116 win over the Pelicans.
Fellow TNT panellist and former NBA player Kenny Smith interjected and seemingly stoked the fire with Barkley.
"You don't like Draymond?" Smith said.
Barkley responded and this time didn't mince his words: "I want to punch him in the face so bad."
It'd be shocking from any other NBA analyst, but not from the outspoken Barkley. And word quickly got back to Green, who was asked about it after the victory.
"I heard what he said. A lot of guys talk on TV, stand behind a microphone and a TV screen," Green told reporters.
"The fact of the matter is if you feel that strongly about something, he's seen me a million times. If you feel that strongly about it, then punch me in my face when you see me."
The two will likely be in proximity soon. TNT is covering the Western Conference finals and travels with the series, which the Warriors are two wins away from reaching.
Green also raised a serious question about Barkley's standing as one of the top analysts in the league.
"I think it's pretty sad. It's probably something that needs to … when you look at the president of TNT, David Levy, which I know well, it's kind of embarrassing on their behalf," Green said, according to Tim Kawakami of The Athletic.
"I'm an employee of the NBA, he's an employee of TNT. And you have your biggest sponsor, one of the faces of that company, saying that on national television. That's embarrassing for them. So that's something - a problem that they have."
Green's mother, Mary Babers Green, took to social media to slam Barkley's comments and brought up an old NBA fight where the then 76ers player refused to get involved.
"Dray ain't scared ... please believe that! Win or lose HE AINT RUNNING LIKE CHARLES DID!" she wrote on Twitter.
"He would not have done nothing but run like he did when he started the fight between Dr. J & Bird!" another Tweet stated.
Former NBA player turned NBA analyst Jalen Rose believes Barkley has overstepped his mark with the comments.
"As a member of the media, our job is to analyse, not antagonise," Rose said on ESPN's Get Up.
"And so players can get upset at me about things that I say about their performance.
"But I'm not physically talking about violence as it relates to them playing basketball. When you do that, I think you're taking it a little bit too far."
Following the backlash over the comments, Barkley has issued an apology and admitted he was wrong.
"I said something that I shouldn't have said," Barkley said on Waddle & Silvy on ESPN 1000.
"I want to be man enough to apologise. I was 100 per cent wrong.
"I wasn't literally going to fight an NBA player, if he took it like that, I apologise."