Beasley and Barkley Battle Over Tito Jackson

Hopefully this drama doesn't end with Wade crooning "Ben" -- we've seen him sing, and it isn't pretty

By Janie Campbell and Todd Wright
|  Tuesday, Feb 23, 2010  |  Updated 2:20 PM EDT
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CIRCA 1971: R&B quintet 'Jackson 5' perform on a TV show in circa 1971. (L-R) Tito Jackson, Marlon Jackson, Jackie Jackson, Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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Back in December, when the Heat weren't exactly lighting the world on fire, Charles Barkley referred to Dwyane Wade's help as "a bunch of Tito Jacksons."

Michael Beasley didn't like it then, and he still doesn't like it now.

"It's just disrespect," Beasley fumed yesterday. "Not disrespect to Tito Jackson. But the way Charles used it, it makes us feel disrespected, a little underrated...You don't say things like that about people's craft, especially when you're a playoff team."

Barkley probably won't take Beasley's public comments laying down, so tuning in to a TNT broadcast in the near future might be a TiVo worthy experience.

We are sure Barkley would argue that battling for seventh place doesn't exactly put the Heat's supporting cast above criticism, but Beasley's right in that Barkley definitely meant it disparagingly. Meet Sir Charles, who is paid to say just that sort of thing about Beasley's craft, whether the Super Cool one likes it or not.

But the truth of the matter is, so long as Wade's in Miami, Beasley and the others are all Titos -- not that there's anything wrong with that.

After all, by any Jackson Five standard, Robert Horry, John Paxson and Barkley's TNT co-host Kenny Smith were all Titos for a star player. And all of them have really shiny hands littered with championship rings.

Tito has quite a few Grammy plaques himself and we are pretty sure Michael let him borrow the shiny glove a couple of times.

"I don't see why [it bothers Beasley and others]," Wade said. "Tito and the Jacksons made a lot of money. If I'm them, I have fun with it. You don't want a comment like that to make everybody try to be Michael Jackson. You can't have a team full of Michael Jacksons anyway. No one wants that."

Especially the kids.

Beasley's makeup is such that he needs motivation, and if his recent play is due to any anger at being Tito'd, we wish Barkley had gone with a Latoya Jackson comparison and created us a monster. But the enigmatic power forward also needs to own his role and focus on being the best Tito he can be.

There are worse handicaps than supporting Michael Jordan or Dwyane Wade.

Like Rafer Alston said, even Jermaine "had it rolling."

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