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NBA legend and current TNT analyst Charles Barkley said he has no use for Twitter, Instagram or any other social media app, as they often lead to nothing but trouble for athletes, both former and present.
“First of all, I understand there’s built-in animosity toward anybody who’s successful,” Barkley said in an interview with Nets star Kevin Durant. “When you’re a celebrity, people can say anything they want to you, but what you say to them can get you in trouble.”
That may especially be the case for a brutally honest, old-school man such as Barkley — who generally holds nothing back when analyzing players and games alongside Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal on the popular Inside the NBA pre- and postgame show on TNT.
“I’m an old-school Alabama dude,” Barkley said. “If somebody says something to me, I have to respond.”
Barkley then told Durant that Durant, however, seems to enjoy social media.
“I enjoy engaging with the fans,” Durant responded. “I used to take it personally. There was a point that I felt like people were trying to personally attack me through my social media …”
Barkley then interjected, “That’s probably because they are.”
Durant chuckled in his response.
“I realized these people don’t know me at all,” he said. “A lot of people are excited to have that interaction to somehow get some attention someway. But after a decade-plus of social media being around our game, it’s integrated around our sport and in our life now. So there’s no hiding from it.”
Charles Barkley, it seems, would beg to differ.
Follow Sam Amico: @AmicoHoops