Ernie Johnson explains how often the Lakers have met the Spurs in years 2004, 3, 2, 1 and ’99, and shows a Kobe graphic detailing his 14 – 11 Playoff Career against San Antonio. Then Charles Barkley erupts:
Charles Barkley: This is the best team he’s ever had though. Even counting Shaquille O’ Neal.
Chris Webber: Whaaaat?
CW: Come on. (awkward pause.) Chuck…
CB: Hold on for a second. I think if they had him and Shaq, and the rest were role players. But this team with Gasol, and Odom, and Kobe I think those three are better than Kobe and Shaq.
CW: I’m walking out right now. Is it ok for me to walk out this set? I know I’m new to this job but I just.. can we just stop.. can I just walk off this set? (points at CB) This is one of the greatest basketball players that ever touched a basketball saying.. (talks to CB) Horry was on that team, same guy making big shots now. He was on that team in LA. Fisher was on that team.
CB: He’s on that team now.
CW: ..Shaq was a monster really dunkin’ and jumpin’!.. 5 Pau Gasols can’t mess with Shaq!
CB: I’m not saying that. I’m not saying..
(everyone goes nuts..)
CB: I’m not saying that, I’m saying they got a better supporting cast.. with.. this team.
CW: Robert Horry’s rollin’ over in his grave!
Ernie Johnson: Rick Fox rollin’ over in his grave!
Kenny Smith: So you’re saying Shaq in his heyday! When he was.. THE DIESEL!..
CW: We need to go back to my man Ron Harper’s rollin’ over in his grave! He won a championship with them! AC Green won a championship with them!
CB: Because of Shaq and Kobe.
CW: I bet Shaq and Kobe can beat this team 2 out of 5 right now if we took them outside at the back of this stage.
EJ: (clarifying with CB) You think that this team is better than those two. This is the best team Kobe’s been on, is that what you’re saying?
CB: I think.. I think potentially.. let me rephrase that.. (smiles)
(everyone goes nuts again. KS and CW slap fives.)
CB: I think this Laker team.. potentially.. they can win A LOT of Championships in the next couple of years.
(studio canned laughter)
CW: I agree with that I do agree they can win championships the next 2, 3 , 4 years in a row.
CB: That’s the way I should’ve phrased it.
I know it sounds weird, but the reason why Chuck is the best analyst on TV is precisely because he makes bonehead statements like that. It means he’s not afraid to be wrong, which is what has always been the trademark of great analysts, opinion writers and columnists. On TV (or for that matter, the Internet) being opinonated is often thought to be the practice of lambasting people left and right, but what good commentary really is, is people speaking their mind. And since we’re human, we will occasionally be wrong, as Chuck proves above.
But at least he went out there and said what’s on his mind, which is a ton more valuable than sitting on your ass not saying it. At least in my book. And if you’re wrong? So what? You retract, say you were wrong, try again.
EJ: “Auburn is a pretty good school. To graduate from there I suppose you really need to work hard and put forth maximum effort.” Sir Charles: “20 pts and 10 rebounds will get you through also!”
This was right after Peja won the 3-point contest: “Kenny said it was going to be an all-international night. I want to know which international brother is going to win the slam dunk contest.”
Ernie: What’s the Knick’s problem right now?
Charles: They no good.
“we better not be doing the Bulls this year. Man, they suck! Bunch of high school kids with $70 million contracts. Damn! I hate my mother for having me too soon.”
On Jerry Krause still being able to keep his job as GM of the Chicago Bulls: “Jerry Krause must have pictures of his boss’s wife having sex with a monkey.”
“when I was recruited at Auburn [university], they took me to a strip joint. When I saw those titties on Buffy, I knew that Auburn met my academic requirements.”
“All I know is, as long as I led the Southeastern Conference in scoring, my grades would be fine.”
and this is one of my favorites:
These are my new shoes. They’re good shoes. They won’t make you rich like me, they won’t make you rebound like me, they definitely won’t make you handsome like me. They’ll only make you have shoes like me. That’s it.