Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal had plenty of criticism for Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid during the Eastern Conference Finals, especially after Embiid had eight turnovers in a blowout Game 5 loss to the Toronto Raptors. Here’s some of what Barkley had to say after Game 5:

“He’s walking by himself like he’s on his death bed. As a star player, you can never show weakness. You’ve got to keep the other guys involved in the game. That’s what he does. He complains so much about being sick, he drains the energy out of the room.”

Embiid was asked about Barkley’s criticism, and said that Barkley “doesn’t know what he’s talking about sometimes.”

TNT had Sunday night’s Game 7, so Embiid’s comments naturally became a topic on Inside the NBA , and gave Barkley a chance to respond. Chuck certainly did that, with a message saying that Embiid and players that can’t handle the criticism can “kiss [his] ass.”

“I’ve always said he’s a hell of a player. If he can stay healthy, he’s going to be one of the greatest ever- IF he can stay healthy, the verdict’s still out on that. But I get sick of these guys complaining. These young guys, they never call us and say, when I bragged about him and Ben Simmons a few years ago saying they’re gonna be the future of the NBA, he didn’t call and say ‘Hey Charles, thanks for the kind words.’ But I’m going to criticize guys if they deserve it, and they can kiss my ass if they don’t like it.”

A very nice “Happy Mother’s Day” at the end there from Ernie Johnson.

In the hours since Barkley’s response to the response, Embiid and the 76ers had their season end in heartbreaking fashion. So, the Barkley-Embiid “feud” may take a break, but you can never be sure with these two.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

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