Charles Barkley Lays Into Kyrie Irving, Tells Him To ‘Just Shut the Hell Up’

Charles Barkley is sick of Kyrie Irving’s antics. The NBA analyst ripped into the Nets point guard during ESPN’s Keyshawn, JWill & Zubin Show on Thursday.

Irving recently issued a statement saying that he would let his play “speak for itself” this season. That led many to believe he was boycotting the media, but that quickly ended after he was hit with multiple fines by the NBA.

It was yet another episode with Irving, who has often stirred things up publicly. And that, my friends, is why Barkley has had enough.

During his appearance on Thursday, Barkley went after Irving — hard.

“They don’t pay you $40 million just to play basketball. Part of it is sitting down with you guys, sitting down with me and Kenny [Smith] and Ernie [Johnson] and [Shaquille O’Neal], talking to New York reporters. Being with the media is part of your professional obligation, and you can say what you want to say. But these guys today, they’re different. I don’t hate on them, but I’m not sure what point Kyrie is trying to make.”

Was Barkley done? Absolutely not. In fact, the TNT host was just getting started.

“When he talks, I’m like, ‘What is he saying and what is he trying to say?’ He starts talking about what an artist is. He’s a basketball player. That’s what he is. Listen, we’re not frontline responders. We’re not teachers. Yo man, you dribble a basketball, stop acting like you’re the smartest person in the world.

Now can you talk about social issues and things like that? Of course. But some of this other stuff I’m like ‘Yo, man, you do realize you’re just a basketball player, right?’ And it seems like he’s like, ‘No, I want you guys to know I’m the smartest guy in the room.’ Well, first of all, you’re not. You only went to college for six months. A lot of guys are smarter than you are. Just answer stupid basketball questions. And if you want to say something about social justice, say it and mean it, because it’s important and significant. But all that other stuff? Like, yo, man, shut the hell up and talk basketball.”

Well, that escalated quickly. Barkley even hit him with the “you only went to college for six months” line. That was the knockout punch.

He isn’t wrong either. Irving has certainly taken on a kind of god complex, constantly trying to go after something or someone. It’s become exhausting.

And like Barkley, a lot of people out there — whether you’re a fan of the NBA or not — are absolutely sick of it. Good for Sir Charles.

Follow Clint Lamb on Twitter @ClintRLamb.

Written by Clint Lamb

Clint Lamb is a College Football Writer for OutKick. Managing Editor for Roll Tide Wire. Sports radio host for The Bullpen on 730/103.9 The UMP. Co-host for The 'Bama Beat podcast through The Tuscaloosa News and


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  1. “…to be exact, he’s missed 111 of the 492 games he was on the Cleveland Cavaliers and 37 of the 164 games he was on the Boston Celtics. The most amount of games he ever played in a season was 75, and that was all the way back in the 2014-15 season.”

    So why are we talking about a guy that attends game in street clothes most of the time?

  2. I’ve seen the back of Kyrie’s 5 shoe line…it’s pretty clear where the god complex comes from.

    But Barkley’s tell it like it is mantra is why he’s been one of my favorite NBA players of all time during the Jordan era….he’s not perfect…but I respect it.

  3. Commish Silver let it slip, most of the players are miserable. Why? Making 5 bucks an hour and being called the N word all game long. No, not exactly. Making unreal dough and pre covid playing to large crowds and living a life most will never realize. Why miserable. Maybe no dads and raised by women and just pissed. Could be. The NBA is the most overrated property in sports. The players don’t care 1/2 of the time yet this product is discussed into the ground everywhere. The actual game(s) are an afterthought. Who is leaving and what pissy scrap between players, media is taking place to discuss. This is a league that can take a leap off a cliff anytime now.

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