Anyone remember Charles Barkley the basketball player? For as much as he has done to draw attention to himself since his career – and he does plenty more with his takes on Tiger, Billy Payne and the media below – it seems like his actual NBA career has become one of the most underrated in the history of the game. At 6’6″, 260 (ish) and without a true position, Barkley just decided that he would do a little bit of everything. Barkley is in the top 25 all-time in the NBA in points, rebounds, steals, free-throws and shooting percentage. He even averaged four assists and a block a game and was one of the first forwards to work on and develop a three-point shot.
It’s hard to match numbers clearly indicative of a player with a high on court IQ and who was willing to work hard and do everything he could to help his team win, with his current public persona. That’s the same guy, so he may actually know what he is talking about – at least when it comes to basketball. Either way, you know he is always talking about something.
Charles Barkley joined Steve Hartman and Dennis Scott on FoxSports Radio to talk about Tiger Woods, Billy Payne, the Lakers, and being a role model.
On his response to comments that he and Michael Jordan led Tiger Woods astray:
“After I stop laughing? I just laugh, number one. I don’t speak for Michael, Michael will speak for himself. Tiger is my friend. He always will be my friend. I had no idea any of this stuff was going on. And if I did, it’s not any of my business. If I knew that Dennis Scott was doing something, that’s not any of my business. I didn’t know anything. When you’re famous, it’s just the way it is. People can make stuff about you. Tiger is my brother. I love him. I only had two problems with Tiger with this whole thing. Number one, I told him years ago to quit saying you’re not black because all these people who smile at your face, when you screw up, you’re going to be black. And that’s come back to bite him in the ass. We kept telling him not to say that. These people are not your friends… And secondly, I wish he would get to the point where he says, ‘Hey listen, I’m not going to walk around on eggshells anymore. I understand that I messed up. I own this. This is my fault. I have apologized to my wife and I have apologized to my kids. The rest of y’all can kiss my ass.’ Them the only two things, problems I have with Tiger.”
On Billy Payne’s comments about Tiger Woods:
“And then you have this punk ass Billy Payne that goes on TV yesterday. First of all, he ain’t told his kids and grandkids to be like Tiger Woods. Let’s not kid ourselves. He ain’t tell his kids and grandkids to be like Tiger Woods. For them to get on there and act like he’s all Uncle Tom, the master on the plantation, that piss me off. I wish somebody would just walk up to him and punch him in his face.”
On if he has talked to Tiger recently:
“We got everything cool. He’s my boy. I got his back. I understand what he got to do. I’m glad to see him back on the golf course. He’s paid. Now he’s got to get on with golf and his life. I’m sick of everybody taking shots on him. He’s not the kind of guy who is going to fight back. That’s why he needs to surround himself with some people who got his back, who are going to be his friends through good and bad. He has not done a good job in that aspect. I got his back. He’s just got to start fighting back. He can only keep going backwards. I know all these idiots in the media running these shows like Inside Edition and Access Hollywood, they got no life. They just got to talk about celebrities. You got guys on TV. You got Skip Bayless, who’s a punk. You got Jay Mariotti, who’s a punk. There’s always going to be guys on TV because they got no talent, they just got to talk about famous people. But, at some point, he needs to stop and like you know, ‘I’ve apologized to my family. I’ve apologize to my wife. I’m not going to take abuse from you jackasses.’ And that’s what I am waiting to see.”
On his role in the media:
“I got my own money. I don’t have to kiss nobody’s ass. I ain’t worried about being fired. When I get on radio and TV, I’m going to be honest. I ain’t like these other guys that do it for money.”
And on the Lakers chances to make the NBA Finals:
“When you look at the teams in the West, I think the Lakers are still the team to beat in the West. Look at all those other teams are somewhat flawed. Phoenix is missing the Lopez kid and that’s really going to hurt them. Utah is just a really small team when they play against the Lakers. Denver is just really inconsistent defensively. I still think the Lakers are the team to beat in the West.”