NEW YORK (WFAN) — Are we all witnesses to a new, more sensitive Charles Barkley?

The outspoken NBA analyst ripped Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni before Game 2 against Boston. Last night, Sir Charles made an about-face.

“That’s Mike D’Antoni, he’s always going to make excuses to cover his own a–,” Barkley said Tuesday night on TNT’s Knicks-Celtics pregame show. “And that’s why they’re going to have a new coach next year.”

Barkley delivered his apology to D’Antoni and Knicks president Donnie Walsh during Thursday night’s 76ers-Heat halftime show.

“I have a rule. I try to always be honest and fair on TV,” he said. “I screwed up the other night when I said something about Mike D’Antoni that wasn’t cool.

“I want to apologize to Mike D’Antoni and Donnie Walsh . When you’re on television, you should never talk about someone getting hired or fired. That’s inappropriate. I made that mistake. I want to apologize personally to Mike D’Antoni and Donnie Walsh. I’ve got a great respect for Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni. I want to apologize. That’s all I can do.”

LISTEN: Joe & Evan: Did Barkley really need to apologize?

WFAN’s Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts weighed in on Barkley’s surprising apology Friday morning.

“I just think it’s a different kind of deal, what we do as opposed to what he’s doing,” Benigno said. “If he’s doing a show somewhere, a talk show, yeah, I’ve got no problem with him saying it. I don’t have a problem with him saying it anyway to be honest.”

Roberts was in total agreement.

“I just don’t think it’s that big of a deal,” he said. “I don’t even think it warranted an apology. It’s his opinion!”

So what should Barkley have said? The midday duo were happy to offer their advice to Sir Charles.

“Here’s the way the apology should have sounded,” Roberts said. “‘I want to apologize to Knicks fans. I’ve been irrational at times and I’ve been hateful at times. I’m sorry. I don’t like your team very much and sometimes that clouds my judgement. I apologize to Knicks fans.’

“That’s the apology! What does he need to apologize to Mike D’Antoni for?”

Did Barkley do the right thing? Sound off in the comments below…

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