"I thought everybody was really unfair to LeBron."
NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley isn't the least bit upset with the way that LeBron James has handled the NBA's ongoing issues with China. In fact, Chuck says everybody has been "really unfair to LeBron" in the wake of his criticisms of Houston Rockets' General Manager Daryl Morey.
Speaking with reporters last week, LeBron said that Morey "wasn't educated" and was "misinformed" before he sent a now-deleted tweet on October 4 that read, "Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong." LeBron specifically mentioned the financial implications of Morey's tweet, which didn't necessarily sit well with fans who were hoping he'd show support for the pro-democracy protesters.
The league's issues with China will remain a topic of conversation as the 2019-20 NBA season gets underway on Tuesday night, and TMZ Sports didn't miss the chance to get Barkley's take on LeBron's situation.
Says Barkley (H/T TMZ):
"Every major American company does business in China and it's not fair to act like LeBron's gonna save the world."
"Everybody does business in China. Every American company does business in China. Why should LeBron not be able to protect his financial interests?"
He adds, "Everybody don't have to pick every battle to fight... LeBron is passionate about the things he wants to be passionate about. We don't get to tell him what we want him to talk about."
Barkley previously discussed the NBA-China controversy during an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show, where he called out the "idiots, fools and jackasses on radio and television" that want to dictate how athletes should and shouldn't react.