Charles Barkley: “If somebody told me that they could stick something in my ass to get me making 100 or 200 million dollars, I’m gonna be the first in line”

January 13, 2010 – 12:25 pm by Chris Fedor

It doesn’t matter if it is about baseball, basketball, football, golf, politics or even pop culture, Charles Barkley can and will talk about it all.  For my money, he is one of the most entertaining and refreshing people to see on TV or to hear on the radio.  I know when I turn on the TV to watch Charles or listen to an interview that he is going to bring a strong opinion, he is going to make me laugh, and he is going to say something that I will always remember.  Well over the past couple of weeks there have been a couple of big stories in the sports world.  One of those stories is about Gilbert Arenas and him bringing guns into the locker room.  The other big story is Mark McGwire’s admission of steroid use for basically his entire career.  Well, Sir Charles has an opinion on both those topics and it’s refreshing to hear a guy like him on TV or on the radio who doesn’t have much of a filter and who is not afraid to share that opinion. 

Charles Barkley took time away from shooting a Taco Bell commercial to join the Dan LeBatard Show on 790 The Ticket in Miami to talk about the punishment for Gilbert Arenas bringing guns into the locker room, whether or not he thinks Mark McGwire should still be a Hall-of-Famer, and whether or not he has had any contact with Tiger Woods as of yet since Thanksgiving.

On whether or not he was nervous doing Saturday Night Live this past weekend:

“The only time I ever felt nervous was when I went on the first Dream Team because we felt like ‘man if we lose its going to be like Tyson vs. Buster Douglas.’  We didn’t know we were gonna win every game by all those points.  It was really nerve-racking when we were like getting ready to go over there.  We were like ‘uh oh, if we lose do y’all know how big it’s going to be.’  I think that’s one of the reasons that we really turned up the intensity and ended up winning the games by so much.  I think we realized ‘man if we lose, it clearly would’ve been the biggest upset in sports history.’  That’s the only other time I felt a lot of pressure.”

On Mark McGwire using steroids:

“I was listening to a little bit of your conversation when you came on about the baseball situation.  There’s two things that bother me about writers.  Number one when they act like they are holier than thou.  But also this notion where this guy hasn’t been nice to us.  I don’t judge basketball players by whether they’re nice to me or not.  When I go on television my job is to talk about their basketball.  You have too many reporters and you’re definitely not one of them, crying like a little girl talking about well he hasn’t been very nice to the press.  So what?  That’s not your job.  Do your job.  Don’t act like your holier than thou and you’re protecting every detail of the game or the guy hasn’t kissed up to you all these years.”

On whether or not he thinks guys who used steroids in baseball should be Hall-of-Famers:

“I think that Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens…I think those guys should all go into the Hall-of-Fame and let me explain why.  We know there is at least one list that has 104 people right?  (Host: Yes)  Clearly there was more than 104.  My problem with the whole era is these are the only guys that are going to get penalized, the Hall-of-Famers.  All the other guys played in that era and I heard John Kruk and I like John Kruk he said ‘well I was clean.’  Well he still benefited by the financial structure.  All the players during that era all benefited through the financial structure.  But my biggest problem is, like I was saying, to penalize four guys and keep them out of the Hall-of-Fame when clearly a bunch of guys were doing it – we know of at least 104 and clearly there was more – to penalize four guys and don’t put them in the Hall-of-Fame when a bunch were doing it, I think that’s totally unfair.”

How he would feel if he found out a guy like LeBron James used steroids in basketball:

“First of all, I don’t care to be honest with you.  It’s funny how the public wants to think that they are the greatest thing since sliced bread.  I grew up on welfare in Alabama.  If somebody told me that they could stick something in my ass to get me making 100 or 200 million dollars, I’m gonna be the first in line.  First of all, this stuff wasn’t illegal at the time.  They weren’t even testing for it supposedly.  If I could take a needle and start making 15 or 20 million dollars a year, of course I would do it.  It bothers me when everybody wants to act like they’re so sanctimonious and so martyr.  If some of these people are out there at the job and they know like I can get an injection, they’re not testing for it, it’s not illegal and I can make 10 or 20 million dollars a year or 2 to 300 million dollars of course they would do it!”

On Gilbert Arenas’ decision to bring guns into an NBA arena:

“I’m really concerned with this whole situation and I’m glad you brought up Gilbert Arenas.  No, I think that’s stupid to take a gun into an arena.  I don’t understand that at all.  I don’t understand that at all.  But you know what I really want to hear Dan?  I want to hear what really happened.  Because it started out that they pulled a gun on each other which I don’t think happened because (Javaris) Crittendon has not been suspended.  He said they brought them in and just had him in there.  Gilbert, who is a jokester, but I don’t understand why he would take the guns into the arena.  Should he be penalized for doing something stupid?  Of course, but I’m worried about the Wizards who are a horrible organization using this to save money.  This to me is not a 90 million dollar penalty.  Gilbert Arenas did something really dumb and really stupid and I think David Stern, who is the best commissioner, has the right to suspend him but this notion that Gilbert Arenas should be kicked out of the league and lose 90 million dollars or be suspended for the whole year, I think it’s really easy for sportswriters to say that.  Most of them are only making 50 to 100 thousand dollars per year.  I think it’s really easy to give away somebody else’s 90 million dollars.  Gilbert Arenas was wrong ,let me clean that up.  He was wrong, but anybody who thinks this is a 90 million dollar penalty is an idiot and that goes for anybody.”

Listen to Charles Barkley on 790 the Ticket in Miami on the Dan LeBetard Show


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