On the eve of the NBA Playoffs, Clippers forward Caron Butler responded to TNT’s Charles Barkley’s claim of Los Angeles having no shot at winning the title because they have “no toughness.” Butler told Jim Rome on his radio program he has a great deal of respect for the Hall of Famer, but he had no time for his comments.

“To hear that, that was a slap in the face,” said Butler.

But at the same time, the forward admitted he wasn’t too surprised by Barkley latest rant.

“It was shock television,” said Butler. “Everybody is looking for the shock television and he (Barkley) said that was something on his mind and on his heart.”

The two-time NBA All-Star also told Rome reports earlier in the season that the team wasn’t getting along weren’t accurate either.

“The locker room has always been settled and brotherly,” Butler said. “As much as you see us high fiving and hanging with each other on the court, and doing some spectacular things, we do it off the court as well.”

As for their playoff rematch from a year ago with Memphis, Butler says even without the dynamic scoring of Rudy Gay, the Grizzlies are still very tough. As evidence of that, he points to what he sees as an underrated midseason addition.

“A guy like Tayshaun Prince, who also is a champion and won in Detroit, brings a lot of versatility,” said Butler, who won a title with Dallas in 2011. “So they’re still a force to be reckoned with.”


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