Charles Barkley sparked a bit of a story after saying last night he would punch Draymond Green in the face. That’s a bit over the line, all things considered, and Draymond was understandably not happy about it. (Nor was his mom.)
Green’s response, via USA Today‘s Sam Amick:
After Tuesday night’s win over the Pelicans, Green commented after hearing what Barkley had said on the broadcast.
“A lot of guys talk on TV, stand behind a microphone and a TV screen,” Green said. “The fact of the matter is if you feel that strongly about something, he’s seen me a million times. If you feel that strongly about it, then punch me in my face when you see me.
“If you’re not going to punch me in my face when you see me, then shut up. It’s no different than somebody sitting behind a computer screen tweeting, ‘I’ll knock you out,’ and you never seen them in life. But he’s seen me a bunch of times, and he’ll see me again this year. Punch me in the face when you see me, or if not no one cares what you would have done. You old and it is what is. So if you ain’t going to punch me when you see me, then stop talking about it. Period.”
That’s a valid point! Green’s antics are annoying to many, and if you were to make a list of NBA players most likely to be punched on the court, Green would have to be on it. But it’s not Barkley’s place, whether he was attempting to be facetious or not.
That led to tonight’s apology, which Barkley announced he’d deliver ahead of the broadcast, and which he delivered at the end of the first pregame segment ahead of tonight’s Jazz-Rockets matchup.
As you can tell, the crew wasn’t exactly taking it very seriously, with Ernie Johnson especially falling back on the idea that in context, what Barkley said was actually fine. Barkley saying Whitlock and Wilbon reached out to him to send him down the apology route was another highlight. In the end, it’s likely over, because he’s not going to punch Draymond, and he’s not going to apologize more than this.
In the end, it’s just kind of dumb. It was dumb for Barkley to say it, it was kind of a dumb way to handle the apology (they spent more time joking about it than anything else), and it’s dumb that it ended up a controversy. Love the 2018 news cycle.