Dwyane Wade has seen LeBron James be a lightning rod for criticism since they entered the league together in 2003, including shots from Hall of Famers from previous generations.
So when James finally responded back to TNT's Charles Barkley when Barkley needled James yet again, Wade was impressed and happy for his friend.
"Thank God he finally said something. LeBron, a lot of guys take a lot of shots at him -- for whatever reason,” Wade said at Bulls practice Tuesday afternoon. "He's always been...all the great players of the game. He just has kept his mouth closed and continued to focus on what he needs to. But it's about time he said something, man.”
In an interview with ESPN late Monday night, James took aim at Barkley after he called James a whiner for going public with taking the Cleveland Cavaliers' front office to task for not providing him with enough personnel help.
"Inappropriate. Whiny. All of the above," Barkley said of James last week. "The Cleveland Cavaliers, they have given him everything he wanted. They have the highest payroll in NBA history. He wanted J.R. Smith last summer, they paid him. He wanted (Iman) Shumpert last summer. They brought in Kyle Korver. He's the best player in the world. Does he want all of the good players? He don't want to compete? He is an amazing player. They're the defending champs."
James responded with some heavy shots for Barkley, the former player-turned-commentator who will often say anything about anybody, taking aim to some of Barkley's personal indiscretions.
"He's a hater," James told ESPN. "What makes what he says credible? Because he's on TV?
"I'm not going to let him disrespect my legacy like that. I'm not the one who threw somebody through a window. I never spit on a kid. I never had unpaid debt in Las Vegas. I never said, 'I'm not a role model.' I never showed up to All-Star Weekend on Sunday because I was in Vegas all weekend partying.
"All I've done for my entire career is represent the NBA the right way. Fourteen years, never got in trouble. Respected the game. Print that."
Wade has had his own history with Barkley, with Barkley criticizing Wade when Wade was in Miami and even responding to Wade's wife, actress Gabrielle Union, by insulting her acting skills.
Wade has certainly spoken up for himself over the years, and James has had his share of detractors. So it's probably two-fold satisfaction for the Bulls guard.
"Guys ride him, especially ex-players. When you got a history, when you can go and Google your history, you need to be a little careful with what you say,” said Wade of Barkley. "Sometimes, when guys get a microphone in front of their face, they just talk and talk and talk and forget about their history. We all make that mistake, but especially that guy on TV. He act like he can just walk on water.
"And I like the fact that LeBron called him out and told him about himself a little bit. Humble yourself. LeBron is who he is. We all have flaws. But when your flaws are a little bit more, you should shut up. I'm glad LJ finally said something and stood up for himself from that standpoint. He said there's a new sheriff in town. So I'm excited to see what's next.”
Tuesday afternoon Barkley was a scheduled guest on Waddle And Silvy Show on ESPN 1000 and addressed the topic. Barkley somewhat snapped back at Wade's comment about Barkley humbling himself, noting that Wade had been humbled "playing for that team," the 24-25 Bulls.