Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Man Who Hated Northern California

It seems the Warriors fans (and indeed most of the Bay Area) are up in arms over certain comments by TNT's NBA commentator Charles Barkley. Apparently, he said such things as that he'd rather sleep on Alcatraz Island than in Oakland or San Francisco. Even took a shot at quaint little Sausalito. He left out Berkeley, maybe because he's heard that the British pronounce it "Barkley". "Teh Horror!" as we used to say on the old ESPN Giants Board.

As a Kings fan, my team and my town have been on the receiving end of many a Chuck tirade over the years, along the lines of cowtown, backwoods, yada yada yada. And I think he once said "Say something positive about THIS place? OK. It's positively a dump." I don't think I've ever gotten mad about it. I got more upset when two chuckleheaded Sacramento DJs decided it would be great fun to call Chuck's Sacramento hotel room in the wee small hours during a Suns visit some years back. I thought that that was pretty bush league. Interestingly enough, I didn't mind at all when some room service chef (allegedly) spiked Kobe Bryant's burger and made him sick.

I don't mind any of this because I think Charles Barkley is one of the funniest non-professional comedians on the planet. I've NEVER seen him serious--unless he's actually talking about the game of basketball. He just plain makes me laugh, and that's a trait I value highly. Hell, he even talks smack about himself sometimes.

Here are some of my favorite Barkley moments.
  • After getting into an altercation in a bar with a drunk who wanted to pick a fight with him, in which he threw the guy through a window, Chuck was asked by a reporter if he had any regrets about the incident. "Yes, " replied Chuck. "I regret that we were on the first floor."
  • "You know it's going to hell when the best rapper out there is white and the best golfer is black."
  • "I was thinking about suing her for defamation of character, but then I realized I have no character.
  • "Sometimes that light at the end of a tunnel is a train."
  • "Somebody hits me, I'm going to hit them back. Even if it does look like they haven't eaten in a while."
  • "I know they say it alot about brothers, but I guarantee you everybody in Finland looks alike."
  • Ernie: "Charles, what's the problem with the Knicks right now?" Charles: "They're no good."
  • "It's kinda great to see the Celtics doing well again. That was so much fun in my day to go to the Boston Garden and they spit at you and throw things at you and talk about your mom. It's just like dinner at Kenny Smith's house."

Maybe what I like best about Chuck is that during this latest San Francisco/Oakland controversy, one of his lines was "You know how bad it is? I like Sacramento better than BOTH of those cities...."

No comments: