The best of Barkley

I would vote for this man for President. In a heartbeat. I even met him once, at a Minneapolis health club before the All-Star game some years ago. It was a funny situation, as I came out of the locker room ready for an evening out on the town and happened to see him checking out my brother’s old girlfriend, a pretty model who was accompanying TPAM and I that evening. When she turned around and gave me one of her typically overenthusiastic greetings – you’d have to know her – Sir Charles mistakenly concluded that she was my girlfriend and immediately walked over to apologize.

Most guys wouldn’t have done that, let alone so effusively. We didn’t bother correcting him and it was just as well because by the time he finished, everyone within earshot was cracking up. Fortunately, someone has taken the time to collect the wit and wisdom of the man:

“Cat was fantastic but when you lose to a woman, it means you suck at something. There are two times when you know you suck at sports — when you can’t beat the women and when you can’t beat the smart kids.”

“I’m bilingual. I speak profanity and English.”

“I don’t think there’s any doubt. Anybody in their right mind knows I’m the best forward in basketball. Well, the only person comparable to me is Karl Malone, but his body is so different from mine. Even my wife loves his body, and that’s the main reason I say I’m the best. With a body like that, he is supposed to be awesome. With a body like mine, I’m supposed to be a couch potato.”

“I know we have to work a lot during the playoffs, and that’s part of working. But I look at those five months of vacation where I do nothing but play golf and go to Vegas and lay on the bench and be the big sex symbol that I am.”

“My family got all over me because they said Bush is only for the rich people. Then I reminded them, ‘Hey, I’m rich’.”

“People keep saying I’m crazy as hell, but sooner or later they’re going to realize I know what I’m talking about.”

“You should be able to go and pick out one fan a game, and just beat the hell out of him.”

Kenny Smith was going on and on about his two championship rings. He said that, in a show of appreciation for their efforts, he gave one ring to his father and the other to his brother because “they were the ones who helped me get them”. Charles: “You should have given them to Hakeem.”

“I trust the public to have a little common sense. If they’re not smart enough to have a sense of humor, they’re just stupid and I don’t worry about it.”

“Politics is too corrupt. You know how you can tell politics is corrupt? President Bush is going to raise $250 million for a job that pays $400,000. Now tell me there isn’t something wrong there.”

“If you just want to be one of the guys, then cut your salary and make what the other guys make. They don’t pay you a lot of money to blend in. There’s a reason Shaq makes $20 million a year. You can’t just blend in — you have to lead the team.”

“If you’re working at Wal-Mart and have 10 kids, quit having kids.”

“Ex-teams are like ex-wives. Deep, deep down, you know you can’t stand them.”

EJ: “Auburn is a pretty good school. To graduate from there I suppose you really need to work hard and put forth maximum effort.”
Charles: “20 pts and 10 rebounds will get you through also!”

“Today is Jimmy Hatter’s birthday — he’s the gay guy we got workin’ behind the scenes, y’all. We hire them all at TNT. We do not discriminate. We hired the pimp last year, Craig Sager, and now we got Jimmy Hatter. We got all the ethnic groups covered.”

“If push came to shove, I could lose all self-respect and become a reporter.”

On the movie Space Jam: “Obviously, my part is terrific. But Michael is the leader. It’s his movie. I think it’s going to be very funny, great entertainment for the kids. I hope everybody likes it. But, really, I don’t care because I’ve already been paid.”

On throwing an elbow at an Angolan: “Well, he might have pulled a spear on me.”