TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley joined Bull & Fox with Anthony Lima to talk about LeBron James’ meeting on Wednesday with the Heat, why he believes LeBron should return to Cleveland, comparing the Heat and Cavs’ rosters, the factors that will impact his decision, how the Cavs have managed to get back into the conversation for LeBron, the possibility of getting Kevin Love to go alongside LeBron and Kyrie, where LeBron ranks amongst the greatest players ever and his opinion on Johnny Manziel and Josh Gordon.
A return to Cleveland for The King?
The conversation started with LeBron and whether Barkley feels he should return to Cleveland:
“I thought LeBron should go back to Cleveland. I thought it be a great story.. I think it’d be great for him to go back home and finish his career. It’d be great for Cleveland.
“I’ve been saying for the last year that I hope LeBron goes back to Cleveland. It’d be a great story.”
Barkley went on to say “it was very disappointing when he left Cleveland the first time and I’d be very disappointed if he doesn’t go back.”
My sources tell me…
Even Charles is getting tired of the phrase “my sources tell me…”
“The next time I hear my sources tell me… I think I’m going to go insane.”
Winning a championship in Cleveland – better than any other location for LBJ
Barkley feels that winning in Cleveland will be better than any other location:
“I think the rosters are comparable but I don’t think it has anything to do with the rosters… I think LeBron is a great player, a great man and I think he realized no many how many championship he wins in Miami it won’t compare to winning one in Cleveland.
“The only thing he can make this thing where everyone pulls for him is go back to Cleveland.”
The Comic Sans Letter from Dan Gilbert
The infamous letter from Gilbert keeps getting brought to people’s attention, Barkley addressed the situations saying “that’s because they’re desperate… If the Heat lose LeBron, they become irrelevant.
“I think that’s all Miami is hanging their hat on. They should have went out and got a better bench the last couple of years… I think they’re reaching for straws right now.”
When asked if players care about their owners, Barkley replied “You care about the players you got. That’s all you care about.”
The Cavs bad drafts
Barkley addressed the Cavs current situation:
“The biggest problem with Cleveland is you keep making bad draft picks… I like the Wiggins pick, but the picks you guys made before that is why Cleveland isn’t a destination… All those high draft picks… That’s your biggest problem.”
A Star Point Guard
When LeBron was in Cleveland he didn’t have a star point guard to complement his game. With Kyrie, Barkley feels James would have that and more in Cleveland.
“Kyrie would be the second best player (between Cavs and Heat rosters)… He’s got to be a better leader. I think LeBron would help him with that.”
More “Love” for Cleveland?
When asked what would happen if the Cavs acquired LBJ and Kevin Love, Barkley responded with “they’re in the finals. That guy’s the best power forward in the game. If they get Kevin Love, the eastern conference is a wrap.”
The next Jordan?
“No. He’s not Michael Jordan. They’re different players. LeBron is more like Magic Johnson… He can’t be as good as Michael Jordan. I’ve got him right now as the seventh greatest player that ever lived.”
Switching topics: the Browns with Josh Gordon and Johnny Football:
“I think he has to be careful… I don’t know Josh Gordon but I’m wishing him the best… Drugs and alcohol are undefeated. I wish the young kid the best… When you get involved in drugs and alcohol, its not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when they get you… Put him in rehab for an extended period of time. Give him one more chance… My best to Josh Gordon.
Barkley even touched on the Johnny Manziel controversies:
“Johnny has to understand, everybody has a cell phone… The only problem I have with Johnny Manziel is his friends are taking pictures… He’s got to watch himself because everybody is out to get you. Every nitwit has a cellphone.”
Check out the full 22 minute interview.