My Summer Lair Chapter #244: What Is Your Favourite Charles Barkley Nickname?
Another Barkley question to ask…when you hear his name do you think of the TV personality first or the NBA player first?
Charles Barkley’s 16-year NBA career effectively ended on December 8, 1999 with a left knee injury. And as my guest Timothy Bella points out Chuck remains wildly popular thanks to his often funny, usually irreverent work as a basketball analyst on what is considered the greatest sports show (not basketball show…sports show) on television: Inside The NBA.
Barkley joined Inside The NBA in 2000; at that point it was just Ernie Johnson Jr. (the closest replacement to Mister Rogers humanity could muster) and Kenny The Jet Smith (another retired NBA player.). It’s been 2 wonderful decades of Barkley on TV which means there is an entire generation who does not know who he is.
Charles Barkley was an NBA superstar and ranked as one of the NBA’s 75 greatest players of all time. He was a 6’6” power forward who was known for his powerful dunks, his passion for the game, and his outspoken personality. He was a leader on the court and off the court, and his impact was felt by many teammates. He was an All-Star 11 times, an MVP, and a Hall of Famer. He was also an Olympic gold medalist on the classic Dream Team.
For more…cue Barkley: A Biography written by Timothy Bella, a staff writer for The Washington Post. Yeah; how cool is that…not a typical sports writer. I value that outsider perspective because it makes it easier to step back and see the whole of Barkley’s careers (plural) and life.
Typically in a sports biography you expect to hear from people associated with the player, coaches, other teammates, maybe even sports journalists. But to give you a sense of how radical Barkley’s life has been…yes…Timothy Bella interviewed those expected people but he also talked to Conan O’Brien, Roy Wood Jr., Chuck D, Billy Crystal and DJ Jazzy Jeff. When have you heard or seen those prominent creators listed together? And as you’ll hear in our My Summer Lair conversation it all makes sense.
This My Summer Lair conversation was so fun; I like Barkley a lot and I appreciate that Timothy’s book humanizes Barkley. All too often he’s classified or dismissed as a TV big mouth…and he is and I enjoy that part of him. Barkley’s comments…the ones that go viral serve as a constant and inspiring reminder: sacred cows make delicious hamburgers.
And if you know Barkley; then you know he’s always hungry. Food is a fantastic way to kick off my conversation with Timothy…specifically BBQ. Here’s the first My Summer Lair episode that requires a bib.
Timothy Bella @ W • T • F
Host Sammy Younan
Recorded: Thursday December 2, 2022 at 2:30 pm
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