We Phoenix sports-loving types have been blessed over time with some terrific interviewees among the pro players in our midst--Shaquille O'Neal (forget for a moment our nasty take
last year on the Big Cactus), Steve Kerr, Kurt Warner, Shane Doan, Luis Gonzalez, (former Arizona Diamondbacks manager) Bob Brenley.
|This photo of a svelte Sir Charles just had to have been photoshopped!|
But none of the aforementioned great talkers could hold a candle to one Charles Barkley, one of the Phoenix Suns' all-time greats both on the floor and in the interview room.
There's a reason why NBA beat writers put Sir Charles on their All-Interview team just about every year that he was in the league: He's bright, often funny, irreverent and, best of all, averse to the use of fallback cliches whenever and however he might be pressed.
We enjoyed parts of Barkley's Saturday Night Live hosting gig last weekend, but got an even bigger kick out of his appearance the other day on a Philadelphia radio show with host Mike Missanelli.
Missanelli asked the onetime Philadelphia 76er about Denver quarterback Tim Tebow's "miracle" finish in the Broncos' upset win over the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday (it really was a hell of a game).
Mind you, Tebow is the toast of American sports at present--at least until this weekend, when Denver travels to New England to face the ever-formidable Patriots.
No athlete in our memory has been so pilloried on the front end as a pathetic imitation of a professional QB (and for his front-and-center espousing of his unabashed love of Jesus Christ), and then become so beloved just a few months later after conducting a series of improbable late-game heroics.
So, Mr. Barkley, what do you have to say about Mr. Tebow?
"The national nightmare continues," Barkley told the radio guy without missing a beat. "Hey, listen, I like Tim Tebow, but there comes a point--he had a great game. He's supposed to have a great game. They want to it seem like, oh, the world is aligned correct.
"I'm like, he does play quarterback. He is supposed to play well."
"So, you've had enough of Tebow?"
"I think the world has. Let's just say the jury is still out on Tebow. He seems like a nice kind, but these ups and downs are so different. Just because he had a great game and made four or five great throws yesterday doesn't mean he's gonna be a great starting quarterback in the NFL."
Now, that's what we call a quotable SOB!
But if Tebow and the Broncos invoke the great football spirits and somehow slay the Pats this weekend, even Barkley may be forced to concede that the jury has spoken.