CHICAGO -- Charles Barkley might consider the Miami Heat "a whiny bunch," but Dwyane Wade contends they don't care what people say about a team that has gotten used to taking shots throughout the season.
As the season went on, the Heat were booed in opposing arenas as fans may have sensed an arrogance about a team that seemed to celebrate success even before the season began. Wade addressed the negative perception after a loss to the Bulls in March that extended Miami's losing streak to four games. Wade said: "The world is better now since the Heat is losing."
"(They say) we don't like the Miami Heat. First of all, that's not true at all," Barkley said Tuesday. "Those guys are actually a whiny bunch. They said a couple times this year, 'Well the world is happy the Miami Heat (are losing).' Please don't flatter yourself. C'mon man."
Wade, whose Heat take on the Chicago Bulls in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals on Wednesday, brushed aside Barkley's comments.
"When I was kid they called me whiny all the time. I cried a lot," Wade said. "I'm done addressing what Charles has to say.
"Obviously, he can say what he wants to say and that's what he thinks and that's fine. He's not in our locker room. He's not going to have any bearing on what we do in the game of basketball. That's fine. We don't care what people have to say about us. We're coming out to win the game. We understand what the word 'bandwagon' means."
Barkley said his criticism wasn't personal.
"We criticize (James) because of 'The Decision.' But nobody dislikes LeBron James," Barkley said. "LeBron James is a good dude. But I love, 'The Miami Heat is losing, the world is happy.' First of all, nobody is thinking about the Miami Heat. You guys are good guys. You're the guys who came out and said, 'We're not going to win 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 championships.' We're like, 'Really.' They never take any personal responsibility to why people take shots at them."
Barkley has an idea how the Heat could have prevented the negative fallout.
"If LeBron had just said, 'Hey, you know what, I want to win more, I'm going to Miami.' Nobody would have disliked that," Barkley said. "I don't know what that thing was when they came out on stage and said they were going to win seven championships.
"Those are the two things that annoyed people, but nobody dislikes Dwyane and LeBron and Chris Bosh. All three are good guys and terrific players."