Barkley apologizes to Green for ‘punch in the face’ comment

(Reuters) TNT basketball analyst Charles Barkley apologized yesterday for his comments toward Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green, after saying “I just want somebody to punch (Green) in the face” during the telecast of Game 2 between the Warriors and New Orleans Pelicans on Tuesday.

“I said something that I shouldn’t have said,” Barkley said on “Waddle & Silvy” on ESPN 1000 in Chicago. “I want to be man enough to apologize. I was 100 percent wrong. …

“I wasn’t literally going to fight an NBA player. If he took it like that, I apologize.”

Barkley initially made the comments while highlights of a verbal altercation between Green and the Pelicans’ Rajon Rondo played during the telecast.

“Those guys who are irritants are all good players, but they can be annoying at times,” Barkley added yesterday. “But like I said, I was wrong when I said it, and I shouldn’t have said it.”

After the game, a 121-116 win that gave Golden State a 2-0 lead in the series, Green responded to Barkley at the postgame press conference.

“Stand behind the microphone on the TV screen,” Green said. “Fact of the matter is, if you feel that strongly about something, he’s even seen me a million times, 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 see him in life.

“He’s seen me a bunch of times. Punch me in the face when you see me, or if not, no one cares what you would have done. You’re old and it is what it is. You ain’t going to punch me when you see me, then stop talking about it, period.”

Green’s mother even got in on the fun.

“@NBAonTNT Charles Barkley I wish you would.. you think Shaq had you RUNNING! #MANGONE,” Mary Babers Green tweeted.

Green is averaging a triple-double through the first two games of the series at 18 points, 12 rebounds and 11.5 assists per game.

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