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LeBron James says Barkley’s controversial take is ‘Chuck being Chuck’

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LeBron James attempted to downplay the significance of a controversial comment made by Charles Barkley by noting it simply was a case of “Chuck being Chuck.” The Cleveland Cavaliers star, however, didn’t let the NBA on TNT analyst completely off the hook.

Barkley raised eyebrows and arguably invited criticism when he said the Atlanta Hawks needed to react aggressively to how Cavs reserves were shooting from long distance in the midst of a blowout 123-98 victory during which the team broke an NBA record for three-pointers in a game with 25.

Said Barkley: “You’ve got to take somebody out. When a team is just embarrassing you, shooting threes when the game is way over, just trying to set a record. … You have to knock the (heck) out of them.”

James contended during Friday’s shootaround that such an act “is not for our game.”

“At the end of the day I don’t think that has anything to do with the game of basketball,” he said, via cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon. “I think for us and for those guys we want to bring a physicality to the game but as far as taking someone out, I think that over exceeds what our league is all about,” James said. “You never want to try to jeopardize anyone being injured.”

James’ opinion of Barkley’s comments were much in line with what Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue had to say on the subject: “I don’t think there’s any place in our game to take someone out if they’re playing well,” he said.

James also suggested that the Cavaliers will remain focused while allowing the officials handle matters related to Barkley’s comments.

“We’re going to still play our physical style of play, both offensively and defensively and I think the referees will do a great job of taking care of the game, that has nothing to do with basketball,” he said.