Know this: Barkley has made himself into a huge star in his post-basketball career doing exactly what Mike Pence did yesterday — exercising his right to free speech.

But now Charles wants Pence and presumably all Americans to keep their collective mouths shut when it comes to criticizing China, the NBA and specifically the way the league has handled this entire sordid situation in an effort to protect its billion-plus-dollar investment in the country.

Of course the 11-time all-star and the league had no problem injecting themselves into a dicey situation regarding the North Carolina bathroom bill controversy in 2016. The law mandated that people use restrooms based on their legal gender on their birth certificate.