Tag:Charles Barkley
Posted on: February 7, 2009 7:53 pm
 

Barkley golfs; what about All-Star weekend?

Charles Barkley has been on a leave of absence from his announcing duties with TNT since early January after his Dec. 31 arrest on suspicion of drunken driving in Scottsdale, Ariz.

I asked TNT officials on a pre-All-Star conference call last week if any decision had been made as to whether Barkley would return to the booth during All-Star weekend in his adopted hometown of Phoenix.

"Nothing has changed regarding Charles’ status," said Jeff Behnke, executive producer for Turner Sports. "He continues to be on a leave of absence and no date has been set for his return."

A person familiar with the situation said if a decision hasn't been made for Barkley's return by now, the chances he'll be part of TNT's All-Star coverage are remote. As difficult as it is to imagine the league's signature midseason event without the man who has become its signature voice and on-air personality, clearly some things take precedence. Like Charles getting his life back in order.

"There’s other things that are more important than All-Star weekend," TNT analyst Reggie Miller said. "Obviously, for himelf and for his family, this is time for them to take a step back and just re-evaluate things. The thing about the NBA and basketball, it’ll always be there. There’s bigger things in life to worry about."

It should surprise no one that Barkley's first public appearance since his arrest occurred on a golf course. Barkley kept his commitment to appear at a charity golf tournament Friday in Lakeland, Fla.

"Clearly, I made a mistake drinking and driving," Barkley told the Lakeland Ledger. "And I'm getting penalized for that, and rightfully so. "Drinking and driving is a very serious thing. It was stupid, and it was 100 percent my fault.'

According to the story, Barkley said his return to the booth is up to TNT.

Here's hoping that happens soon, but not a minute too soon.

 

 

Category: NBA
Posted on: January 30, 2009 10:46 pm
 

Iverson passes Barkley

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Passing Charles Barkley for 16th on the NBA career scoring list Friday night meant more to Allen Iverson than he admitted.

"I want to get past Barkley with one other accomplishment," Iverson said at his locker after the Pistons lost to the Celtics 86-78. "And that's winning a championship. I don't care about all that individual stuff."

Trust me, he cares. I've been watching Iverson play since he was a rookie. Though he and Barkley have had their differences at times, Iverson shares a special kinship with Sir Charles because they both endured some very good and very difficult years in Philadelphia, one of the toughest fan bases to please in the NBA.

It's a tough stretch for Iverson and the Pistons, who are still struggling to find their identity almost three months after sending Chauncey Billups to Denver for Iverson. After falling to the defending champs -- who won their 10th in a row, their longest streak since winning 19 straight earlier this season -- the Pistons host Cleveland on Sunday and then face Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat Wednesday.

On this night, all Iverson had to smile about was moving past Sir Charles. Iverson scored 19, giving him 23,768 in his career. Patrick Ewing is next on the list with about 1,000 more. Iverson is second among active scorers to Shaquille O'Neal.

 

 

Category: NBA
Posted on: January 27, 2009 5:44 pm
 

Marbury says he misquoted himself

Stephon Marbury went on national TV Tuesday. (Evidently, he did, anyway. I didn't see it. I have better things to do than wait for Marbury's next media missive to be shot across the bow.)

Anyway, Marbury pulled a Charles Barkley. You may remember that Barkley became perhaps the only person in American history to claim he was misquoted in his own autobiography. (For those of you in Rio Linda, autobiography means he wrote it.)

Sooooo ... One day after Marbury told the New York Post that he had a verbal agreement to sign with the Celtics, he said the following on a competing entertainment and sports programming network: "If something was to happen, I would be able to pick either of those teams. So it's not, 'Do I have a verbal or did Boston give me a commitment.' That's people saying what they are basically speculating on what I said."

Okey-dokey.

Alan Hahn of Newsday has an entertaining blow-by-blow of the exchange, complete with editorial comments and a famous quote from former St. John's great Walter Berry. Enjoy.

 

Posted on: January 9, 2009 5:56 pm
 

Somebody finally stands up to Barkley

When Charles Barkley admitted losing millions at the blackjack table, the NBA and broadcast partner TNT wanted no part of it publicly. League officials warned Barkley privately about his damaging behavior -- especially in light of the Tim Donaghy scandal -- but no official action was taken by the NBA or TNT against the large and loquacious Hall of Famer-turned-TV personality.

Given the embarrassing nature of Barkley's arrest on suspicion of drunken driving Dec. 31 in Arizona, there was no running from Barkley's latest skirmish with the law. This was the kind of lapse in judgment the NBA can't afford from its most famous airwaves ambassador. So in response to the news that Barkley will take an indefinite leave of absence from his TNT broadcast duties, I say good. It's the right move.

Call it a slap on the wrist if you like, but neither the NBA nor TNT is a court of law. Barkley, 45, had a blood-alcohol content nearly twice the legal limit, according to toxicology tests, and was in too much of a hurry to secure a romantic rendevous to bother stopping at a red light. The legal process will handle that. An intern with TNT or the NBA, for that matter, arrested under similar circumstances no doubt would have become another unemployment statistic by now. That's not the point; I think we can all accept by now that athletes and all types of celebrities are treated differently in the workplace and in society.

The point is that TNT -- presumably with Stern's blessing -- did the right thing. Not only that, they did something no one -- not a single referee, coach, opposing player, or even Stern -- has ever been able to do.

They silenced Charles Barkley. The TNT telecasts will be a lot less entertaining without him. But for the good of everyone involved, it's a silence we should welcome and applaud.

 

 

 

Category: NBA
Posted on: January 6, 2009 1:57 pm
 

Barkley's attorney speaks

Charles Barkley's attorney says the former NBA great will be treated fairly as he is prosected on DUI charges in Arizona. My colleague, Mike Freeman, says Sir Charles has been treated more than fairly over the years and that his many indescretions have been shrugged off by an adoring media. I have to say, I agree. Though I don't plead guilty. I plead no contest.

I am on record bashing Chuck for his massive gambling losses, and criticizing the league for turning the other cheek -- even amid a crippling gambling scandal centered around disgraced referee Tim Donaghy. In one of my former lives as a sports writer for the Associated Press in Cleveland, however, I had the misfortune of covering a civil trial in which Barkley was sued over a confrontation with a bar patron. Barkley managed to deflect the attention away from his alleged actions by making hilarious jokes throughout the trial -- patting his attorneys on the rear end when they got up to greet the judge, calling his accusor a "drunk redneck," etc. As a reporter, I had to report what happened, and Barkley's usual shenanigans happened. His accusor didn't receive a dime, and Barkley walked away unscathed once again. Now this.

By the way, DUI is all the rage in NBA circles this week; everybody's doing it. Fresh off a buyout from the Memphis Grizzlies, Antoine Walker was arrested early Monday on suspicion of drunken driving in Miami Beach. It also was revealed Monday that Suns guard Jason Richardson was stopped and cited for suspicion of DUI while driving on an Indian reservation at 2:48 a.m. on Dec. 21.

 

Category: NBA
 
 
 
 
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