Charles Barkley: “The trade don’t make the Knicks a contender.”

February 23, 2011 – 9:50 am by Michael Bean

No introduction necessary. The All Star Game just occurred, there was a  major trade in the NBA, sounds like more than enough reason to check in with Charles Barkley. As always, he doesn’t disappoint.

Barkley joined KJOX in Birmingham to talk about his new website CharlesBarkley.com, the enormous birthday cake that was presented to him over the weekend, the All Star Game and surrounding festivities including who his favorite musical performers were, how he doesn’t think the Carmelo Anthony trade makes the Knicks contenders this year, how he doesn’t think it’s good thing for there to be such a consolidation of talent on so few teams in the NBA, meeting Cam Newton, how he can’t place Newton higher than himself or Bo Jackson on the all-time greatest Auburn athletes, and other fun topics in a lengthy chat with his hometown guys.

On the enormous birthday cake that was presented to him over the weekend:

“Yeah it was. That was very nice of the people. It was a 200 pound cake. I thank God we did the show outside. I was able to give a lot of it away. I mean a 200 pound cake. We gave tons and tons away and still probably had another 100 pounds of cake. But it was a great weekend. Stevie Wonder singing me happy birthday was one of the highlights of my life. It was awesome.”


On if he ever jumped over anything like a car during his dunking days:

“I jumped over a couple of…one time, I was at Alabama, over at UAB one summer, and a guy challenged me to a dunk contest. And he jumped over a guy. I said that was good. And I brought two more people out there and jumped over three people. But I didn’t think that dunk was that good. Now I liked that little car, that Kia car, it’s called the Acquire. But that really wasn’t that great of a dunk to be honest with you.”

On the Carmelo Anthony trade:

“Well the trade don’t make the Knicks a contender. I still don’t think they’re one of the four best teams in the East. I don’t think they can win a playoff series. This might help them down the line, a master plan like Miami trying to get three monsters. So they need another point guard. You know, next year we’re going to have to go through the same crap with Deron Williams and Chris Paul. And I don’t think all this stuff is good for the NBA to be honest with you. But he’s a very good player, but they’re not a contender.” (Editor’s note:  This interview took place before Deron Williams was traded to the Nets on Wednesday)

Whether he thinks it’s at least good that the Knicks are relevant again:

“Yeah it will be good for the NBA like how it was back in the Ewing days because New York is a major market. Clearly you want stars in major markets. I mean that’s the bottom line, but just the way the NBA is going now, you’ve got to be somewhat concerned. Right now there’s seven legitimate teams that can win it all. In the East — Miami, Boston, Orlando, and Chicago. In the West — Dallas, San Antonio, and the Lakers. You know, when Chris Bosh went to Miami that killed Toronto, LeBron leaving killed Cleveland, Denver is out of the mix now, and if Chris Paul or Deron Williams leaves, Utah and New Orleans…that’s going to kill another couple franchises. And we’re not like baseball where you can have the Yankees and Red Sox and the Dodgers and Phillies, and have five or six good teams, because we make all our money through television. We pay the NBA $2.2 billion to broadcast NBA games. Same thing with ESPN. Fans think that they’re little chump change that they pay for seats pays for players’ salaries — which is not true. Carmelo Anthony is going to make $22 million a year. The fan, that’s just one guy. The thing is we need them and they’re great, but this notion that the fan is paying for these guys salaries — that’s absurd. We need better teams than only a few because we have a rule that you can only show certain teams a certain number of times. We don’t want to show the Sacramento Kings against the Charlotte Bobcats on TNT. So the way we’re going right now is not good for the league.”

His thoughts on the possibility of contraction in the NBA:

“Well first of all that has to come into play. And why that makes me sad is the players are going to be fine. If you can play, there’s going to be a place for you to play here or overseas where you can make millions of dollars. But one thing I don’t think these players think about is a lot of people are going to lose their job. I mean, there’s a lot of people who work — I mean hundreds of people — for these franchises, and you’ve got people who work at the arena. I mean sometimes these guys they never look at the big picture. Look, it’s clear that we’re going to have to start looking at contraction, but you know, that’s sad because there’s a lot of people are going to lose their livelihoods. And they’ve got families and they’ve got kids. And that sucks.”

On who he thinks will be in the NBA Finals:

“Oh dude, I try not to be one of these idiots on TV who tries to act like he knows what’s going to happen. There’s three teams in the West — Dallas, San Antonio, and the Lakers. It wouldn’t surprise me if any one of those three won. I think the team that doesn’t have to play two of those teams has a huge advantage. That’s why I think one of the reasons you can’t predict is you don’t know who’s going to play who. And in the East you’ve got Miami, Boston, Orlando and Chicago. I think Chicago might be the best team. I do. When they get everybody healthy with Boozer and Joakim Noah, I think they might be the best team. But like I said, if Miami or Orlando or Boston won…because all of those teams have issues. You see Boston trying to get Shane Battier which I think would be a terrific move, a terrific move. And I said last week on the show, there’s going to be a lot of trades this next couple of days before the trading deadline because the championship is up for grabs, up for grabs with those seven teams.  And if one of those seven teams can make one little trade it can put them over the hump, to be honest with you.”

On what he thought was the best musical performer of the week, a question currently being polled on his new site:

“Well I’m going to cross of Cee Lo Green because I love that song and when you say the words ‘Forget You’ instead of the real words, it’s makes the song suck. It kills the song. It totally kills the song. Because I never thought you could say those words over and over and it could be a great song. But that song was once song of the year because it’s a great song. But I’ve heard it a couple times when he says ‘Forget You’…I’m like, that is such a waste…It kills the song. I like Rihanna when she came out with Kanye West, when he came out that was great. I forget who else…she had two others come out and do a cameo duet with her. But I’ll tell you who I liked — Lenny Kravitz. Lenny Kravitz sang the private TNT party, he sang a little bit at the All Star Game, but TNT has a party every year for all the TNT employees and their sponsors. We had a private concert Saturday night with Lenny Kravitz, and I like me some Lenny Kravitz. I don’t know if he’s on the poll question, because the only thing I’ve been talking about today on CharlesBarkley.com is the Carmelo…my long national nightmare is over. But who else is on the list?”

The hosts then mention Bruno Mars and Barkley is off and running:

“Oh my God. Let me tell you how old Kevin McHale is. So we’re doing our show Saturday afternoon and Kevin McHale says, ‘wow what’s that guy’s name, I really like him.’ I said, ‘Kevin, that’s Bruno Mars. He has the No. 1 song in the world right now.’ That’s what he says off the air, ‘wow, I really like the way that kid sings.’ I said, ‘you should, he’s got the No. 1 song on the planet.’ Kevin says he don’t listen to today’s music. I say dude, Bruno Mars is like… I love his music. He’s got this little Frank Sinatra vibe working too. He’s terrific, but you’ve got to keep him out of trouble though.”

On meeting Cam Newton and if he was the one who got him tickets to the game:

“You know, I finally got a chance to meet him. Since I keep getting him tickets to all these events, I joked with him ‘I keep hearing I’m getting you tickets to all these events.’ I finally got a chance to meet him. He came over…we were actually staying at the same hotel and he came over and said hello to me. And I just told him how proud I am of him and the Auburn team, and what a great season they had. I said, ‘hey don’t let all these people get on your back.’ Then  I said I love you, I’m proud of you, but you can’t ever go any higher than No. 3 on the list behind me and Bo [Jackson]. No matter what you accomplished, I said if you had stayed another year and did what you did this year I might have moved you up. But right now, I’m No. 1, Bo [is] No. 2, and you’re No. 3. And I felt bad that I had to move Frank Thomas down to No. 4.”

What was better weekend for him: All Star Game in LA, or Super Bowl weekend in Vegas:

“Super Bowl weekend was good to be bro.”

How good:

“Uhhh, more than you and Dunaway make together put together. Hey, and you know what, I don’t even know how much guys make and I’m very comfortable saying that. Hey, the tables and the Pack were good to me.”

CB’s parting words:

“Hey tell the Alabama cronies to stay out of Auburn if they’re going to come down destroying stuff. Listen, Auburn’s a great place, I feel bad what happened to the trees, but that’s not a reflection of all Alabama fans. Yes, some of them are obnoxious, they are very obnoxious. But we’ve got two great schools. I feel bad about the trees but we’ve got to move past that and go forward.”

Listen here to Barkley with The Round Table on KJOX in Birmingham

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