在賭城Las Vegas的NBA明星賽快開戰了，除了Kidd、Nash都可能缺賽的消息外，其實明星賽看這麼多年下來，實在也乏善可陳，變不出什麼花樣了。幸運的是，我們還有Charles Barkley。
Let’s get ready to stuuuumble!” On the evening of Saturday, February 17, former NBA superstar and current TNT basketball analyst Charles Barkley, 43, will challenge veteran NBA referee Dick Bavetta, 67, to a footrace during TNT’s coverage of NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by EA SPORTS. The distance of the race will be 235 feet (78.3 yards), as Barkley and Bavetta will race baseline to baseline, and then to the half-court line of the regulation basketball court at the Thomas & Mack Arena. In conjunction with the race $50,000, $25,000 from the NBA and $25,000 from TNT, will be donated to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Las Vegas.
The initial challenge to race was issued on January 4 when Barkley subbed in for TNT game announcer Steve Kerr and made a rare courtside appearance with Albert for TNT’s broadcast of the L.A. Lakers @ Sacramento Kings game. During the first half of the match-up, in which Bavetta was officiating, Barkley made the off-the-cuff comment, “I can outrun Dick Bavetta right now, Marv.”
“Charles, let me say something to you, there’s no way you can critique the game the way you critique it if you cannot beat a referee,” weighed in Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star forward Kevin Garnett.
“It better be a short race, because if it’s an endurance race, I think Bavetta has got him licked,” said reigning two-time NBA MVP and Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash on Barkley v. Bavetta. “I’m sure Charles will try to make the distance just right for himself.”
Charles Barkley paid up, but it wasn’t what a national TV audience expected.
Rather than planting one on TNT co-analyst Kenny Smith’s posterior, Barkley puckered up and pecked a donkey’s hind end.
The stunt came one week after Barkley bet Smith that No. 1 overall draft pick Yao Ming, the Houston Rockets, a 7-foot-6 center from China, wouldn’t score 19 points in an NBA game.
At the time, the bet seemed a safe one for Barkley: Yao averaged just 3.3 points in his first six games. Two days after Barkley’s comments, however, Yao scored 20 in a Rockets victory over the Lakers, making all nine of his shots, and it was pay-up time.
When Barkley said he planned to live up to his end of the deal, Smith replied by saying, “Sometimes even when you win, you lose.”
For the occasion, Smith said he purchased a donkey so that Barkley could kiss his, well, ass. With a TNT studio panel that included Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura mocking him, Barkley leaned in close and gave the donkey a quick peck on the haunches.
Barkley是條漢子，也贏得眾多球迷的青睞和支持。事實上，我還蠻喜歡他的球風和有時直言不諱的作風。他的幽默當然更是無人能比，but sometimes maybe he should just shut up.