Jay Cutler doesn’t seem to have a whole lot of fans outside of Chicago these days, but it appears NBA Hall of Famer and TNT basketball analyst Charles Barkley is one of them.
Barkley happened to be dining near Cutler and Brandon Marshall Sunday at Chicago Cut Steakhouse and picked up the Bears players’ check. “Sir Charles" came to Cutler’s defense after he shoved teammate J’Marcus Webb in September and compared him to the Dallas Cowboys’ Tony Romo.
"For some reason people don't like them and until they win big, every little thing they do is going to be over-criticized," Barkley told ESPN 1000's "The Waddle & Silvy Show." "Same thing with LeBron (James). There are certain people that the media just don't like ... We've all yelled at coaches and players in the heat of the moment. Is it something personal? No, it's a very emotional game."
Barkley also stood up for Cutler after he left the NFC Championship Game in 2011 with an injured knee.
"I was mad at the players, to be honest with you," Barkley told "Waddle & Silvy." "I think it was inappropriate and wrong to question a guy's heart. Now reporters, they're going to do what they want to. They're entitled to their opinion. But as players, I don't think it's appropriate to question another guy's heart."
Barkley, who is a regular at Chicago Cut, is taking part in Waddle & Silvy’s “Lunch with a Legend” Monday at Morton’s The Steakhouse in Northbrook. Cutler and Marshall went on a double date with their significant others last month at Chicago Cut.