Will Someone Please Shut Barkley's Fat Ignorant Mouth?
I love TNT's NBA coverage, but one man is bringing it down. He's the eminently moronic Charles Barkley. I'm so sick of listening to his insipid, poorly thought-out, illogical, insulting commentary. And I'm infuriated that no one at TNT or the NBA has the guts to just say "Shut up you fat overrated loser," or "Think before you speak you total dumbass." Since they won't, he's allowed to undermine the work of his excellent TNT studio mates with his unstoppable mouth, and basketball fans are left to suffer.
Barkley sucks primarily because he never prepares for the telecasts. He all but implies that this is true, and the quality of his work more than confirms that it has to be true. Because he is unprepared, the only contributions he can make are based upon whatever pops into his head. The results of this haphazard style of broadcasting are routinely awful... and worse.
Barkley apologists say this is Barkley's strength, his unscripted spontaneity. They say Barkley is such "a breath of fresh air" because he says what's on his mind and doesn't follow anyone's rules. It is not and he is not. He has none of the skills or discipline necessary to be an effective extemporaneous speaker. The things that come off the top of his mind are either poorly thought out declaratives, or worse, baseless stereotypes of the ugliest kind. Thus allowing him to participate during studio discussions is akin to detonating a bomb in a confined space -- he cannot be controlled and he does nothing but damage.
Last night, during a serious interview his mates were conducting with OK City Hornets G Chris Paul, Barkley kept interrupting to ask Paul what he was doing living in Oklahoma, as if that was of any interest to anyone but him. He had the nerve to then proclaim "there ain't nothin' in Oklahoma 'cept cows and chickens." (You'll recognize this as typical elitist blather -- if its not on either coast and its not Chicago, it must be farm country. How stupid.)
When no one rebuked him, he felt free to step it up a notch with some really awful, ugly commentary that he somehow, inexplicably, thought was funny. He said Oklahoma is 'no place for black people' and that the only "brothers" in Oklahoma were in Norman on the Sooner football team. Yeah, he really said that. Then he laughed. This is typical Barkley. He freely admits he's never been near Oklahoma, yet he feels authoratative enough to make blanket pronuncations on who does and does not belong in the state based upon the color of their skin. And he thinks its funny, laughing like a girl at his own stupid comments. He then, without any hint of irony, proclaimed the University of Georgia "a school full of dummies," saying that his alma mater, Auburn, has far superior academic standards. Yeah, Chuck. And you're a nice advertisement for those so-called standards. They let you in the door and you can't even form proper English sentences or come close to properly pronouncing most English words.
What an idiot. I'm sick of his insults and just generally sick of him. And he needs to get out of the "Travel Guide for African-Americans" business. I don't know what exactly he looks for in a city, but if he doesn't find it, he'll blast the entire city, or proclaim it unfit for black people. He routinely calls Milwaukee and Detroit the worst cities in the NBA, because "there ain't nothin' to do in either of those places." Funny, but that didn't stop Barkley from finding enough to do to get arrested on different occasions here in Milwaukee during his playing days. I think the charges were gross buffonerry or flagrant jackassery or something like that. It hardly matters.
Chuck also has this annoying, insulting habit of labeling every task or rule he doesn't like as "slavery". On Thursday night's TNT telecast he refered to TNT's all-day schedule as "Slavery Saturday" because, apparently, he feels its oppressive to ask a six figure employee to actually work an entire day at a time. How can he get away with this? Its such a slap in the face to so many Americans who went before this moron and actually had to suffer through the horrors of slavery, his flippant stupidity should earn him some sort of rebuke. It never does.
When he actually talks basketball, he never puts forward any insights. He never develops critiques, he just makes naked statements and won't ever bother to follow them up, even if they are worthy of follow through (e.g. "Sacramento is terrible." No explanation why.) And I won't even get into the way his man-crushes on every superstar player skew his ability to fairly analyze games.
He's just a lazy clown who has gone from a comic foil to an insulting embarassment. He should be removed. He's ruining the excellent work done by Reggie Miller and Kenny Smith. Particularly Miller. I enjoy listening to his well thought out insights. He and Smith are terrific. But too often their worthwhile discussions get shortcircuited by Barkley's nonsense. Get rid of him. I've already wasted enough time just writing about him.