NBA players have a big ego, and once somebody strikes a nerve, they are ready to defend themselves. This isn't new, it happens all the time, but sometimes, megastars take things to the next level and speak directly with those who tried to trash their name, letting themselves go with the bad words.
After he became an analyst, Charles Barkley learned that some folks won't allow certain comments from him and will let him know as soon as they have the chance. It's well known the time he called out Kobe Bryant for taking only a shot in the second half of a game to prove he had no help. Kobe didn't appreciate that and went off on Barkley.
He has said some harsh words to LeBron James, too, with The King replying to them in big fashion.
These situations have taught a lesson to the 1993 NBA MVP, who recently talked about how players have different responses when he praises them contrary to when he flames them. During an appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, Chuck recalled the times he went against Kobe and LeBron and the difference that makes a compliment against criticism.
"When I get guys complimented, they never f***ing call me. Kobe Bryant, who I love, and rest in peace, I said for three or five years, he was the best pro player in the world, and one night against the Phoenix Suns, he didn't take any shots in the game in the second half, and I went off on him after the game. ... He called me from 1 o'clock in the morning to 4 o'clock in the morning, cursing me out like a dog. The best thing about it, it's that it was all text. He called me every name in the book.
"I've always said what a great person LeBron James is, I admire him as a person, he's one of the 5-6 best basketball players I've ever seen, I said something about him and he went off on me. But I always laugh. I'm like, 'these dudes never call me when I talk about how great they are,' so I learned I had to just deal with it."
We all know how intense Kobe was, and whenever he felt disrespected, he would make people pay. It didn't matter who you were, Kobe was always coming for you. LeBron wasn't different, but him going off on somebody wasn't as common as it was with Kobe. Back in 2017, he called Chuck a hater, taking shots at him for throwing somebody through a window, spitting on a kid, and more.
After that, they all made peace and moved on, but Charles still remembers that players don't miss time to fire back when analysts blast them, contrary to what happens when they get praised.