Charles Barkley had plenty of memorable moments on the court, but he might have had more off the court. Since he joined TNT as an analyst in 2000, Chuck has seen, forgotten and remembered it all, much to the delight of NBA fans worldwide.
Barkley’s trademark Chuck Drawl mixed with his transparency, outlandish comments and ability to be the butt of a joke makes him my favourite TV personality. Chuck hasn’t gained my love just by saying “Kawhi Lenutt” for the last nine years, but by forging a resume of classic moments which I’m going to open the door to.
During this difficult time, we need to laugh, and Sir Charles will make the laughing experience different from any you’ve ever had before. First, you’ll laugh at his voice, then his bluster, then the content of his sentence, before forgetting the fact that you weren’t finished laughing at his voice and that sequence will be preserved for as long as there’s time.
He falls into the category of Hall-of-Famer that could’ve won a ring if it wasn’t for MJ, but post-career Charles has flourished while maintaining his character.
I’ve scoured the web to bring you my favourite Barkley moments from the last two decades, but before I begin: to all the naysayers that said the hours I “wasted” watching Inside the NBA would amount to nothing, I reply that, if history is anything to go by, I’ll get anywhere from 60 to 90 claps on Medium, so what do you have to say now, huh?
How many times has Chuck been arrested?
[2:27] till the end.
While giving advice to Russell Westbrook about his reaction to an aggressive Jazz fan, Chuck speaks on what he learned from his experiences with negative fans. This ultra-transparency leads to Charles not only talking about being arrested for hitting fans, or the fact that he settled those cases as he “can’t trust the judicial system in America”, but also forgetting how many times he has been arrested.
Why, oh why, was this conversation being aired on live television? That answer to that lies in the hands of the few, but the fact that it was televised has benefitted the many.
No hand checking
Watch as Sir Charles clearly states the players he thinks would be better in today’s game, before completely spiralling out of control. I’ve looked between “no” and “not” in the dictionary and “nohandcheckingMichaelJordanScottiePippenToniKukoč” does not seem to be appearing, regardless of the fact that it’s now my favourite word. Ernie’s additional “Tony Kuko-” at 2:09 serves as the best encore we’ll get from Barkley’s performance.
First pick all time
[5:24] until you please.
As EJ introduces Charles, we’re all waiting for him to get the pick of MJ out of the way so the draft can move on, but wait! Okay so Charles didn’t go with Michael, it must be LeBron or Kareem…? No? Okay, so it’s probably Kobe or Duncan. All we know is that it definitely isn’t going to be Allen Iver- oh god.
I’ve watched this draft north of 25 times and Charles’ making the first selection will never get old. As a bonus, you can watch Reggie pick Sir Charles at 18:20 and hear that Chuck Drawl exclaim “I couldn’t’a made a better pick myself!” which is guaranteed to make me laugh on my lonesome twice a week. The whole 43:12 video is an entertaining watch, trust me, I have the attention span of… wait I gotta bite my nails.
All of it.
In response to a Mamadou N’Diaye tweet, of all things, Chuck suggests putting a hashtag at the end of it, but in true Charles fashion, he misspeaks and calls it a “hashmere”. An all-time slip up from Sir Charles before then suggesting a hashtag that should definitely never be a hashtag. Who knows, this could have been what ignited Chuck’s hate for Twitter?
What is a loonie?
Chest out Chuck, full of bravado, ready to show the world he’s more than a pretty face, the Chuck Drawl delivers his answer of what a “loonie” is with, “it’s a cowun”. Ernie follows this by showing us a glimpse of his breakneck wit by asking “what kind of a ‘cowun’”. A short ten second moment in history that no one but me seems to enjoy, but when you write about your favourite TV personality I’ll try to empathise with your favourite of their moments. Okay, let’s move on.
“I think I look _________ personally”
All of it (come on, it’s 21 seconds!)
As Charles takes a sip of who knows what, he joyfully describes himself as “delicious”, with a hint of lust — which in itself is an art form — and Shaq’s timely response of Cedric the Entertainer’s quote “you can’t be calling no grown man delicious” tops off this short but sweet exchange.
[0:47- till the end
Here, Chuck shows off his playmaking, I mean, he did accumulate 4697 assists in his career, that’s gotta amount to something. Charles not only talks shit about the quality of the NBA but in the middle of it creates the “black” Jetson — Leroy. This leads to the rest of the panel running their points per game up off of one pass, and one of Shaq’s best quotes (2:40) on Inside the NBA: “he got dubs on his whip”.
The crème de la crème — TV’s most grammatically incorrect game show — “Who He Play For?”
All of them! Here’s this season’s edition as a teaser.
There are NBA fans whose knowledge of the league should earn them a spot as a professional journalist (I know three) immediately. Yet to go above .500, watch as Chuck consistently and comically guesses players’ teams incorrectly over his career as an analyst that demands extensive knowledge of the league. You could be on the toilet passing yiayia’s varenika or baba’s bop, look to the side and realise you’re completely out of toilet paper, and one of these videos will give you the willpower to deal with this adversity.
This is but a taste of what Chuck and the rest of the team have provided the world with. I’m seriously grateful and appreciative for all of the moments this show has given me, and as the best show on TV, I can only hope for a speedy restart to the season, and not just for the on-court excellence. The media that follows the NBA is usually quite awful, but these guys make up for the dribble that you hear on ESPN.