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Charles Barkley defends LeBron James, says he’s really a ‘great guy’

With the amount of popping off at the mouth Charles Barkley makes a living off of, we typically get the impression that he doesn’t like anyone. Either that, or he knows he is getting paid to make outlandish statements and act like a dink so he’s just fulfilling his duties. Whatever the case may be, it is surprising to hear a blowhard like Barkley defend the NBA’s most popular villain. Believe it or not, Charles is a big LeBron James supporter.

“I think he made a mistake,” Barkley said during an interview with CBS Sports. “You know he came out a lot this year and apologized for the way he left Cleveland, not telling the Cavaliers in advance, that Decision thing, where he came out ‘we’re not gonna win 1,2,3,4,6,7 championships” and I think that’s the reason people got turned on LeBron. He’s the best player in the NBA but he’s also a really nice guy. That’s why it caught a lot of us off-guard, because he’s a great guy.

“I think that behavior kind of caught myself and everybody else off guard. We were all just so turned off by that whole scenario. He came out and (apologized) this year but I think if he had done it last year all that animosity wouldn’t have been there.”

Barkley also said that other than “The Decision” and the crazy introduction party the Heat threw when they assembled their Big Three, he doesn’t think anyone has had anything bad to say about LeBron. That seems like a bit of an exaggeration. People certainly hate LeBron more because of the way he left Cleveland, but he had plenty of haters while he was with the Cavs and was seen as an arrogant person by many people.

What we do know is that LeBron seems tired of being the bad guy. Gestures like this one show us that he is at least trying to change his image, which you have to commend him for. Compared to years past, this seems to be a relatively quiet year for the King James haters. If the Heat wind up winning a championship, he may come close to silencing the critics — for a few hours at least.

Photo credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Charles Barkley thinks Sam Cassell looks like Gollum

On the left is Sam Cassell, a former All-Star point guard who’s now coaching with the Wizards. On the right is Gollum, a character from “The Lord of the Rings.” Charles Barkley thinks they look alike.

During a discussion on “Inside the NBA” about Amare Stoudemire punching a fire extinguisher, Kenny Smith said that some players like when a teammate gets hurt or sick because it gives them an opportunity to play. He pointed out that Sam Cassell, who shared the point guard position with him on the Rockets, used to think that way. That led Barkley into an unprompted Gollum comparison.

“Sam Cassell, the guy, he won an Oscar!” Barkley said.

Smith, clearly annoyed, pleaded with Barkley to leave Cassell alone. Barkley of course continued.

“Y’all got a picture of Gollum?” Barkley asked the TNT production crew. “Have you ever seen Sam Cassell and Gollum at the same place? You know I love Sam Cassell …”

Here’s video of the exchange:

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Charles Barkley says John Calipari would never be drunk enough to take Knicks job

With the way things are going now for John Calipari compared to the way they went when he coached in the NBA, he would be insane to go back. Calipari just won a national championship with Kentucky, and what do you know he may not end up vacating it. If that’s not a milestone reached then I don’t know what is. Still, the Knicks are in need of a coach so Calipari’s name has been discussed on several occasions. Charles Barkley says we can stop talking about it because Coach Cal would never drink enough Jack Daniels for that to happen.

“Let me tell you something, he’s never going to be drunk enough to take that Knicks job,” Barkley told WFAN’s Boomer and Carton on Thursday. “That would be career suicide. I’m a big, big John Calipari fan, but he’s not gonna take that job — ’cause that ain’t a good job.”

Barkley is a known Knick hater, and he made sure to add in that the Knicks “stink” and that they are only playing well now because they’re well-rested after quitting on Mike D’Antoni. We may not agree with many of the things Charles says and does, but it’s tough to argue with this one. Knicks fans who are banking on Calipari being their coach next year need to snap back into reality.

Charles Barkley says it’s ‘a joke’ that Lamar Odom will be paid

The Lamar Odom era in Dallas was a perfect example of a potentially great trade gone horribly wrong. The Mavericks gave up hardly anything to bring Odom on board. With his playoff experience and veteran poise, many expected Odom to turn into a tremendous role player for the defending champions. Instead, he never got over the fact that the Lakers shipped him off. Dallas has ruled him inactive for the remainder of the season, but they will still be required to paid his salary. Charles Barkley thinks that’s ridiculous.

“You know I love my man Cubes,” Barkley told KESN-FM 103.3 in Dallas according to Fox Sports Southwest. “I’m surprised it took that long. The D-League thing was, to me, a red flag. But that didn’t wake him up. And I’ve got to tell you something. I always pull for my players. I always pull for the players. But the fact that they’ve got to pay him, I think is a joke. I mean, because he didn’t earn his salary. He didn’t earn it at all.

“I think it’s a joke that he’s gonna get paid for sitting at home for the next few months. In the NBA, we get paid every two weeks. So, Lamar’s making close to $10 million a year. So, he’s probably going to miss two paychecks. He’s probably making $300,000 to $400,000 every two weeks. So, to sit at home and make that type of money just really pisses me off, to be honest with you, for the effort he put out there.”

Newsflash for Charles: There are a number of people out there who think it’s a joke that you get paid thousands of dollars to sit in a television studio and sound like an idiot, but that’s an entirely different argument in itself. As for Odom getting paid, that’s just the nature of professional sports. If he thinks the Odom situation in Dallas is a joke, he must really the Barry Zito situation in San Francisco, the Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lackey situations in Boston, and the Jayson Werth situation in Washington. That’s just the way it goes.

Photo credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

Charles Barkley appears in drag for new Weight Watchers commercial (Photo)

No, this is not a photo from Charles Barkley‘s failed audition for “To Wong Foo.” This is a shot from Barkley’s newest Weight Watchers TV spot, which will begin airing April 8.

We’ve already seen Barkley play Alicia Keys on “Saturday Night Live,” but this new foray into cross-dressing is on a completely different level. Wearing heels, a black cocktail dress, a wig, earrings, gaudy jewelry, and — not to mention — “chest padding,” Barkley will continue promote the message that Weight Watchers isn’t just for women.

Back in January, Barkley had to clarify himself after he was caught saying his endorsement with the weight-loss program was a “scam.” Weight Watchers wasn’t upset about the remark, so it’s unlikely that this is some sort of punishment. This is probably just the company’s way of mixing up its message, because Barkley talking about meatballs has become so played out.

Can’t wait to see wait to see the treatment this gets on “Inside the NBA” on Thursday.

H/T Complex via Los That Sports Blog

Charles Barkley: Kentucky could beat Raptors, maybe the Bobcats

Charles Barkley isn’t exactly a college basketball expert, but he’s trying to play one on TV. Sir Charles has been providing studio analysis after games on the CBS/TNT/TruTV network throughout March Madness. After Kentucky beat Baylor 82-70 to win the South Region and advance to the Final Four Sunday, Barkley called them the best team in the country.

“Nobody can beat this team,” Barkley said on CBS. “The Toronto Raptors can’t, the Bobcats maybe. But there’s nobody in this NCAA tournament that can beat this team.”

Chuck may have been exaggerating to prove his point. Why would he choose Toronto when four teams, including Charlotte, have a worse record? I doubt he really believes this team could beat one full of pros, but hey, Charles says a lot of crazy things on air, and that’s why people love him, or love to hate him.

H/T Sports Grid via Off the Bench
Photo Credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

Jim Boeheim: Charles Barkley is an idiot

When the 2012 NCAA tournament comes to a close, many of us will remember it as the year of the lane violation. You can go an entire season without seeing a single call for a lane violation on a free throw, yet we saw it during a round of 64 game and a round of 32 game already this year. Both times, the call may have affected the outcome of the game. Jim Boeheim’s squad was the beneficiary of the first lane violation that was called, and Charles Barkley — along with many other people — was critical of the official who called it. As expected, Boeheim doesn’t think very highly of Barkley’s opinion.

“Charles is an idiot,” Boeheim said during an interview with 1260 The Score in Syracuse. “You have to call calls. If they’re there, you have to call them. If a foul occurs or whatever happens, you have to call it. It’s as simple as that. If referees start doing that, we’ll have a chaotic situation. They have to make the calls that are there. If it’s a little touch foul away from the ball, a good referee won’t call that.”

Boeheim certainly isn’t the first person to insult Barkley and Sir Charles does say some completely idiotic things, but I tend to agree with him on this one. It’s easy for Boeheim to say that call has to be made when it may have saved his team from historic embarrassment, but if it has to be made then why is it never made the countless other times it happens?

As LB mentioned in an earlier post, any official that makes this call should be calling all the carries, travels, and blatant fouls that they let go constantly. Boeheim says it’s good if they don’t call a “touch foul,” but what’s the difference between a “touch foul” and a borderline violation that always happens and is never called? In both instances the call was the right one but didn’t have to be made.