Did Barkley Get Newton NBA Seats? ‘Kiss My A–’

A bit of a dustup broke out on the web last night and this morning after Cam Newton was interviewed on the ESPN and local Los Angeles KCAL 9 Lakers-Suns telecast Wednesday night.

Charles Barkley and Cam Newton on NBA Tickets

During the game, prominent Birmingham TV personality and WJOX-FM radio host Jim Dunaway Tweeted, “Hanging at Lakers-Suns… Pugh and most Auburn players in upper deck…Cam in lower bowl. Thanks Barkley for the tix.”

That Tweet along with courtside interviews that Newton did during the telecast was part of a chain reaction on Twitter and message boards across the country of people wondering if Newton had indeed gotten special treatment at the game that might amount to an NCAA violation. Read more…

Bottom Feed: SbB Powerless Rankings Are Here

Here’s my first SbB Powerless Rankings, which note the least influential prominent sports figures of the moment. The criteria is simple: The folks on the list would have no relevance if it weren’t for blind luck or undue support from their employers.

SbB Powerless Rankings: It's Nothing Personal

1 ) BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock: Most-despised man in sports, yet he has no power to do anything. Figurehead designed to distract fans from the actual, tiny cabal responsible for college football’s dark ages. Pie-in-the-face guy. Light a candle for him.

Baghdad Bill Hancock Executive Director Of The BCS

(‘Baghdad Bill’ Hancock)

2 ) Mike & Mike on ESPN Radio: Without relentless over-promotion by ESPN’s monopoly-enabled monolith, show wouldn’t exist. Perhaps the finest example of just how powerful ESPN has become as a sports marketing machine. Greenberg at least has a semblance of talent in a controlled setting - witness his SportsCenter performances.

Mike & Mike Mike Greenberg Mike Golic

3 ) The McCourts: The underfunded couple was handed the Dodgers by Bud Selig and MLB Owners to artificially limit payrolls in MLB’s larger markets and the NL West. Stole $120M from franchise to fund their personal lifestyles. Anonymous in L.A. outside the ownership suite - even despite the recent TMZ.com coverage.

Frank and Jamie McCourt Divorce

4 ) Mark Cuban: Great at selling tickets and advertising but too enamored with his own, overrated basketball IQ. Needs to hire good basketball people and get out of the way. By alienating other owners and David Stern, doesn’t have nearly the influence in league matters that he should.

Mark Cuban mad

5 ) Jim Nantz: Rakes in millions in salary and perks from CBS gig, but would one less person watch a CBS sports telecast if he wasn’t calling the game? From local radio appearances, appears to have an interesting personality and provocative opinions, but once he’s national he goes dullard on us.

Jim Nantz

Read more…

Barkley Flips Off TNT Audience, Offers No Apology

Thursday night Larry Brown of LarryBrownSports.com has Charles Barkley giving the TNT audience the middle finger while the TNT NBA panel was discussing Kobe Bryant’s finger injury.

Charles Barkley Middle Finger Video On TNT


As Barkley was holding up his hand to display his fingers, he inexplicably (and deliberately) shot co-Hosts Kenny Smith, Ernie Johnson and the audience the bird. Worse, he followed that up by refusing to take Ernie Johnson’s “April Fools Day” life preserver: Read more…

Jordan Paid $25M Cash For Charlotte Franchise

Last week the media went nuts over a Forbes.com report from Michael Ozanian that claimed Michael Jordan bought the Charlotte Bobcats from Robert Johnson for only $175M - after Johnson originally paid $300M for the team.

Michael Jordan Worst Jeans Ever

More alleged details from Ozanian on the deal have since emerged. Read more…

Pic: Barkley With Alleged Tiger Mistress Jungers

RadarOnline.com keeps us entertained this morning with this delightfully predictable photo of alleged Tiger Woods mistress Jamie Jungers and Charles Barkley:

Jamie Jungers Tiger Woods Mistress And Charles Barkley Photo

(What took so long?)

Jungers claims she hung out with Chuck and Woods in a private gambling room one night in Vegas at the MGM Grand.

“I gambled with him and Charles Barkley one night for hours. He played blackjack and I sat there with him [Tiger] while he played. He played $25,000 a hand or more and Charles played roulette behind us… he was playing several thousand himself.”

Barkley, a reported notorious gambler, apparently didn’t notice the serious flirtation happening between Woods and Jungers, who says Tiger managed to keep his attraction for her discreet in front of his celeb pals.

“He would occasionally put his hand on my leg but it was underneath the table. There was nobody around except the blackjack dealer, the roulette dealer and a cocktail waitress who would come in the room. There was nobody in that room except for myself, Tiger and Charles Barkley.”

That’s the same Barkley touting his valuable advice for the golfer on how to get his life together. Read more…

Charles Barkley Doesn’t Much Care For Twitter

Here’s the thing about Charles Barkley: he may come off as contrarian and opinionated and anti-establishment or whatever, but that’s not really the case. He’s just in the normal early stages of Cranky Old Man Syndrome, in which COMS sufferers begin alienating themselves from the changes in the world around them. It wasn’t immediately obvious; Barkley’s frequent shots at his superiors could have been just a garden-variety case of a problem with authority.

Charles Barkley Twitter Nerds Ogre
(NERRRRRRRRRRDS! AND BIRRRRRRRRRDS!)

But now that he’s going after TWITTER, well, we’re kicking ourselves that we didn’t diagnose the COMS earlier. It’s so obvious, in retrospect. He doesn’t hate authority because they tell him not to do things, he’s just not used to the culture of responsibility. And the kids, with their Twitter Tweet Twoodles or whatever they’re called? Well, Charles Barkley doesn’t much cotton to these computers today.

Read more…

Week In Review: Chuck Cannot Stomach Tequila

Charles Barkley has some relationship advice for Shawne Merriman: “You don’t get your women from reality TV.”

Tila Tequila, Charles Barkley, Shawne Merriman

• Well, Jay Cutler’s debut for the Chicago Bears could have gone better.

• Fox Sports reporter Chris Myers compares Larry Foote’s jersey from the Steelers to the Lions to going from dating Beyonce to Whoopi Goldberg.

Michelle Wie’s blog is worth checking out - if only for the leather skirts.

Jim Tressel says Ohio State fans are unhappy & miserable. And William Rolle sort of proves the coach’s theory.

Read more…

Bears QB Cutler Performs Poorly Against Packers

Jay Culter’s debut as Chicago’s QB was completely em-Bear-assing.

Jay Cutler Bears Packers

• A fired high school basketball coach decides to spend her new-found free time suing over the fact that girls have to play on school nights while the boys get to play on weekends.

• We knew the New Jersey Nets were losers, but we didn’t realize it was $50 million worth.

• It’s nice when a mother & daughter work together. It’s not so nice when they’re working together to beat up a cheerleading coach.

• Utah’s Kyle Korver & Deron Williams jazz up a charity event with a little dodgeball action.

Read more…

Charles Barkley Has Advice For Shawne Merriman

As I do with most issues in life, I have reserved judgment on this whole Shawne Merriman-Tila Tequila controversy until I’ve heard what Charles Barkley has to say. As we learned on Friday, the San Diego District Attorney’s office dismissed the case against Merriman, in which Tequila, real name Tila Nguyen, accused the Chargers’ star of choking her and throwing her to the ground.

Tila Tequila, Charles Barkley, Shawne Merriman

Barkley, on ESPN Radio in Dallas, had some words of advice for Merriman. I’m not sure why — Barkley didn’t sound as if he knew exactly who Merriman was. But it was the first question he was asked, and he responded by bashing reality TV in general. Read more…

Speed Read: Lance Follows Watson Into Sunset

Sigh. Just 24 hours ago, the idea of Tom Watson winning the British Open and Lance Armstrong winning the Tour de France didn’t seem all that far-fetched. In fact, we were all starting to believe that it all had to happen. Why would they come this far just to fail in the end?

Tom Watson

Much has been written about Watson’s inability to hang on to a one-shot lead on the 18th at Turnberry, but lost in that shuffle was the news that Armstrong has basically conceded the Tour to his teammate Alberto Contador after falling behind in yesterday’s climb in the Alps. While Lance is still second overall, he finished ninth in yesterday’s stage and looks like he’s not going to be able to keep up as the Tour continues through the mountains over the next week.

Armstrong is trying to take the high road in pledging that he will do whatever he can to help Contador keep the yellow jersey until the end, but Contador couldn’t resist smacking Lance with a rather large verbal backhand:

“Lance Armstrong was my idol, but dropping him today wasn’t important — he was just like any other rider … It’s an honor for me to have him working for me,” Contador said.

In other words, this is my sport now.  Armstrong, who is rumored to be starting his own team for next year, acknowledged that Contador was the best rider and that his goal now is to do what’s best for his team.

Alberto Contador

Wins by Watson and/or Armstrong would have probably ended up being the biggest sports stories of the year, if not among the best of the decade. These examples of the triumph of the spirit over the limitations of the body as we age are a shot in the arm of a lot of us could use. For the most part, we are faced every day with some reminder that we aren’t all we could be, and we accept it because we’re getting older. It’s the most convenient excuse, and perhaps the fact that they came up just short is enough evidence for us to keep using it. Golf and cycling are about as far apart in terms of their physical demands as you can get in the sports world. But the fact that a 59-year-old and a 37-year-old cancer survivor could come so close to reaching the pinnacle of their respective sports one last time has to be some sort of wake up call for the rest of us, right?

lance armstrong tour de france

Speaking of wake up calls (and I hate to keep bringing this up), but it looks as if the nails are just about to be driven in the coffin of David Beckham’s MLS career. In his first home game since his return to the Galaxy, he was roundly booed and got into an angry confrontation with a fan during L.A.’s friendly with AC Milan (Beckham’s other team).

beckham signs

Though he claimed afteward that he expected some negativity, it was clear through his behavior that he didn’t expect it to be quite as overwhelming as it was. The main culprits were the Riot Squad, the Galaxy’s version of a wannabe European fan section. As you can see, they aren’t too happy that Becks backed out on the first half of the MLS season to play in Italy:

beckham signs

After hearing boos and coordinated chants and jeers throughout the first half, Beckham finally had enough and confronted the section of fans as he headed off the field for halftime. He says he went to ask them to calm down, but soon security was getting involved and escorting away a fan who appeared as if he wanted to engage Becks in some sort of physical altercation. The L.A. TIMES has all the particulars of a strange evening at the Home Depot Center.

Lost in all of the tension was the fact that Beckham actually played well, and was instrumental in both of L.A.’s goals in a 2-2 draw with Milan. After he delivered a perfect corner kick in the second half that Bryan Jordan headed into the net, he turned to the Riot Squad and stared them down as he raised his arms in celebration. I imagine that this battle isn’t quite over yet, even though Beckham tried to downplay it in his remarks afterward:

By the way, Los Angeles, way to treat your sports stars. You welcome Manny Ramirez, a proven cheater, back from his suspension as if he was returning from chemotherapy or something, but you get all over this guy. Nice.

Roy Halladay dominated the Red Sox yesterday, throwing a complete-game in a 3-1 victory in what could be his last start in Toronto. So where’s he going? Philly? Milwaukee? The South Side? The North Side? Anaheim? Mannywood? St. Louis? Minnesota? Texas? Seattle is apparently bucking the trend by admitting they aren’t interested.

• From the world of minor league baseball promotions, here’s footage of Chewbacca riding around in the Mystery Machine at a single-A game in Lowell, Massachusetts:

• More from the world of minor league baseball promotions: The Brooklyn Cyclones dedicated last night’s game to preganancy, complete with a pregame Lamaze class, and the promise of free tickets for life to anyone who names their kid “Brooklyn” or “Cy.”

The Mets have lost yet another player to injury, and are dangerously close to having to go out and sign Jose Lima again, and nobody wants to see that. Unless his wife shows up for his starts:

Jose Lima Wife

• 5,000 people showed up to see the groundbreaking for the new Marlins stadium, and their view was blocked by the families of the dignitaries involved in the ceremony. Now, if they could only get 5,000 people to show up for an actual Marlins game…

• Hey, so how about that really thrilling PGA tournament that ended in a playoff yesterday? That was some pretty great stuff. Wait, who’s Bo Van Pelt? Milwaukee? What’s going on here?

• With Tom Watson coming so close to winning the British Open, even a guy who survived four surgeries on a brain tumor thinks he’s good enough to come back and play next year.

Henry Surtees, the 18-year-old son of former Formula 1 champion John Surtees, died yesterday from injuries suffered in a freak accident during a Formula 2 race in England. A tire from another racer’s car flew off and hit Surtees in the head, causing him to lose consciousness and drive his car straight into a barrier.

• First, Tony Romo lost Jessica Simpson. Now, he lost a celebrity golf tournament to Rick Rhoden, who won the tournament in Lake Tahoe for the eighth time. Charles Barkley finished last, falling behind Chuck Liddell and Kevin Nealon on the last day.

Charles Barkley golfing

Mike Mussina took the mound for the first time at the new Yankee Stadium yesterday. Of course, it was old-timers’ day, so I guess that means he’s retired. He is, by the way, the last Yankee pitcher to win a game against the Red Sox.

• Maybe the reason that the Pirates gave a bit of an insulting extension offer to Jack Wilson is because they realize that, despite his defensive brilliance, he’s an absolutely atrocious offensive player. Like, along the lines of Yuniesky Betancourt. But I’m not sure I give Neal Huntington that much credit.

Whose win would have been more stunning?

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