If there's one thing we know about Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, it's that he's not afraid to speak his mind. On Tuesday night after Doug Jones upset Roy Moore in the Alabama senate race, Barkley saidto "get off their ass."
On Wednesday Barkley turned his attention to another highly publicized figure, LaVar Ball. In case you've been living on a deserted island without electricity for the past year, LaVar is the father of Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball and recently-turned professional basketball players LiAngelo, 19, and LaMelo, 16.
The common defense of LaVar is that, for all his exploits, he has still been a good father to his sons and has their best interest at heart. Barkley does not agree.
He appeared on ESPN Radio's "Golic & Wingo" show and absolutely blasted LaVar for being a bad father and taking advantage of his talented children.
"I just feel sadness that the media -- CNN, ESPN -- has given this guy a platform," Barkley said. "He represents everything that is bad about sports. It's all about him. I just feel bad for those kids.
"Everybody talking about how he might be a good father, this and that. No he's not. He's just exploiting his kids. ... He's all about Big Baller Brand. He has no foreseeable talent. He's trying to make money on his kids, and I just feel sadness for those kids because they're going to do whatever he tells them to do. I just don't like the guy at all, plain and simple. And don't tell me he's a good father. Just because you exploit your kids, trying to make money because you have no talent, that does not make you a good father. That makes you exploiting your kids. And I don't like the guy at all. And I wish they would quit putting him on television, because he has no talent whatsoever."
Barkley was asked about LiAngelo and LaMelo, who recently gave up their college eligibility to sign professionally in Lithuania. Barkley said that if LaVar's really a good father, he'll stay out there with them rather than returning to the U.S. after dropping them off.
"I wish there was a place farther away from America they could send him," Barkley said. "I don't know where Lithuania is, but if there is another place farther away, I would love it. First of all, I would never leave my kids over there. If he's a legit father, he should stay over there with those kids the entire time. That would prove something to me."
Barkley and Ball have a history that goes back to the NCAA tournament in March. LaVar was telling anyone who would listen that he could beat Michael Jordan 1-on-1, and Barkley responded by telling LaVar to "slow your roll" and challenging him to a 1-on-1 game.
Ball responded by saying Barkley was too big to play 1-on-1 and that "he better stay behind that TNT thing ... and eat them doughnuts."
While their previous exchange could be considered gentle ribbing, Barkley taking shots at LaVar's parenting definitely raises the stakes. No matter how you feel about Barkley or LaVar, one thing's pretty much a certainty: LaVar will fire back at Barkley in the near future.