Photos: NBC.com, Getty Images
Charles Barkley said fellow NBA legend Kobe Bryant should be remembered for both his NBA legacy and that 2003 rape case.
Bryant, 41, died in a helicopter crash with his daughter, Gianna, and seven others in Calabasas, California last month.
Barkley told NBC's Today Show that the Los Angeles Lakers great can be remembered for both his NBA achievements and his rape case.
"You have to tell the picture in totality," Barkley said. "We're not making Kobe out to be no hero. We're celebrating his basketball excellence. We understand what happened in Colorado. That's fair, but two things can be true."
Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
Barkley, who is pictured with Bryant and his wife Vanessa at the 2016 ESPYs, argued that the rape allegations against Bryant should not be ignored just because they make people uncomfortable.
Television journalist Gayle King was dragged on social media after she asked former WNBA star Lisa Leslie about the rape case affecting Bryant's legacy.
Bryant's angry fans included rapper Snoop Dogg, who threatened King and called her a "dog faced b*tch".
Snoop Dogg, 48, has since apologized twice for disrespecting King, 65.
Bryant was accused of raping a 19-year-old desk clerk at a Colorado resort in 2003. The charges were dropped after the woman accepted an out-of-court settlement and refused to testify.
NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal's sister Ayesha Harrison-Jex died Thursday night after a prolonged battle with cancer.
Harrison-Jex, 40, was diagnosed with cancer in 2016. O'Neal's co-host Ernie Johnson announced the sad news during the TNT's Inside the NBA sports program on Thursday.
O'Neal was noticeably absent during the sports analyst program that normally features O'Neal alongside Johnson, Charles Barkley, Candace Parker and Kenny Smith.
"I'm trying to put into words the way Shaquille has reacted to this, and he's struggling," Johnson said. "And when he struggles, we struggle with him. Because he's one of our brothers and we feel for him tonight."
Johnson added that O'Neal, 47, is currently in Orlando, Florida, with his family.
Barkley said kind words to O'Neal's mother, Lucille O'Neal, who was there for his family when his mother died.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who was on the show, also sent his condolences to the O'Neal family.
"It's times like this when we're all together," Silver said.
Shaquille tweeted, "Thanks for the condolences and the love. If I had older brothers, it would be you 3. Love y'all and love you more Candice."
Harrison-Jex leaves behind a son Bryce, according to Johnson. She will be laid to rest in a military cemetery and will be buried next to O’Neal’s stepfather, Sgt. Phillip Harrison.
Yesterday, LeBron James responded to NBA veteran Charles Barkley, who said he whined too much -- especially after his Cleveland Cavaliers go on a losing streak. Barkley was on point; LeBron whines too much when the Cavs lose.
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