Charles Barkley hates the playa and the game, but he should look in the mirror

It gets a bit tiresome.

Every Cinderella story needs a bitter, jaded, elderly hater. Charles Barkley is college basketball’s evil stepmother analog. One of the most maddening staples of every March Madness is TNT loaning out Charles Barkley for CBS’ NCAA Tournament studio show coverage where he dissects college hoops with the deftness of a butcher while pretending he’s a tastemaker or expert with something worth saying on the topic.

As part of that exchange though, CBS’ 60 Minutes broadcast aired an interview with Charles Barkley in his hometown of Leeds, Alabama on Sunday night after the Final Four was settled. The show’s segments featured an earnest look at sensory touch technology in prosthetics and an exposé on eBay execs harassing a couple running a small website.

Who asked for a Barkley interview?

Nestled in between those hard-hitters was Barkley giving the sport of basketball a terrible name. In Barkley’s version of the world, he hates everything it’s become. He railed against Kevin Durant’s sensitive disposition as a symptom of his generation, which is one of the most generic, catch-all criticisms of every generation from the one before it in civilized human history.

His calling Kevin Durant sensitive is ironic. Three years ago, he threatened politics reporter Alexi McCammond by whispering, “I don’t hit women, but if I did, I would hit you,” because he felt she humiliated him.

Barkley is the lead in one of TV’s most irreverent ensemble casts covering the NBA. But Inside the NBA is a comedy. As a television-viewing public, we’ve got to start treating Barkley like the entertainer he is. He’s not an astute analyst or an expert.

It’s hard to tell where angry Chuck begins and docile, reflective Chuck begins. We all have multitudes, but none of Barkley’s asinine commentary on the complex financial dynamics of NIL or the legislation to reform it, whatever that entails, is illuminating. As usual, his takes were bad. He parachutes into college basketball every March, then regales the audience with amusing stories about washing his jersey in the shower at Auburn and wearing it the next game. What goes unnoticed is that the majority of his college basketball analysis is insipid. During the 2018 Tournament, he didn’t know the difference between Purdue and Iowa.

An NIL take from Charles — this was never gonna end well

On 60 Minutes, Barkley also sank his teeth into the topic of name, image, and likeness compensation for student-athletes on a separate occasion from the studio.

In response to new NCAA President Charlie Baker’s comments about federal NIL compensation legislation, Barkley suggested the athletic directors and universities come together and bargain about a standard that will benefit them.

“Did he say we’re going to ask the politicians to help us?” said Barkley. “See that pisses me off already. Our politicians are awful people.” “I would actually go to people who actually care about basketball,” he added. “I would put a committee together. I would love for Clark [Kellogg] to be on the committee, get some coaches, get some players, and let’s try to work this thing out. We can’t ask these politicians nothing. Those people are awful people, Democrats and Republicans. They’re all crooks.”

Who’s going to tell him that the head of the NCAA he is gullible enough to believe can rig their own NIL standards internally is a former governor? I couldn’t think of a worse optic or result than the NCAA suppressing athlete compensation to make the lives of their programs easier. The only ones who would wind up getting stuffed in that scenario are the athletes. As it turns out, the NCAA’s member schools’ exploitation of student-athletes is a feature, not a bug for Barkley, who blamed NIL for ruining college basketball.

Here are the footnotes of Barkley’s pocket-watching and Playa hatin’ comments…

“It’s a travesty and a disgrace, I’m so mad now how we can mess up something that’s so beautiful.”

“We can’t play all these players.”


These players are already getting paid. The only problem college basketball has is catering to the casual fans because top NBA prospects would rather get paid to develop in the G League or Overtime Elite. Barkley’s fear-mongering over NIL is actually counterproductive to his cause for college basketball.

“In the next three to five years, we’re going to have 25 schools that’s going to dominate the sports because they can afford players and these schools who can’t afford or don’t pay players are going to be irrelevant.”

This year’s Final Four consists of Florida Atlantic, San Diego State, UConn, and a Miami team that is financed by the CEO of LifeWallet. But they’re the anomaly. UConn is the only program left that has reached a Final Four before, and their last one was nine years ago. I get that this interview was filmed prior to the tournament, but the tournament has been rife with parity for years.

Worst of all is that Barkley is a hypocrite, who admitted to taking money from agents during his three years at Auburn. For what it’s worth, during his stint as a Tiger, Auburn only played in one NCAA Tournament. That type of hypocrisy is almost performance art.

Barkley was being truthful 30 years ago, when he explained that he was not a role model. His counsel should whistle in one ear and out the other. The only athlete in this fractured culture whom I can agree was a role model is Secretariat, because at least he had the wisdom not to bump his gums on subjects he had little to no expertise in.

Follow DJ Dunson on Twitter: @cerebralsportex

Keith Olbermann has a scorching bad take on the World Baseball Classic

Just stop it, man.

When there’s a way to have a trash take on sports, enter Keith Olbermann. This time, it’s about the World Baseball Classic, because what matters most to Mr. Olbermann is the Major League Baseball season, as the yearly league is much more important to those who don’t see value in the global tournament. Odd flex, but OK.

His first message of the day talks about how the tournament is a waste and he uses the line that rosters are chosen “based on where their grandmothers got laid.” You need two of those, so what happens if your maternal and paternal relatives are from different countries? Saying something from the language of dumbassery brought out people from most corners of the internet to tell Olbermann how stupid he sounded! But of course, he couldn’t totally backtrack on his statement, right? Look at his Twitter ratio 14 hours after the message was sent of 67 retweets and 2,043 quote tweets. Ouch.

Only half a day after sending the message in the middle of the night did Olbermann have any sort of revision to his sexist remark about sex, changing it to “where their ancestors got laid.” He also added, “That blunt description of the artificiality of the team assignments is also trivial and for that I apologize.” Olbermann then doubles down on saying the WBC is a threat to what actually counts in the Major League Baseball season. Gosh, what a goober. Let’s take Team Israel, shall we? The Swingin’ Stars of David are made up mostly of American and Jewish professional baseball players hoping to raise the profile of the sport in the Middle Eastern country, regardless of whether any of their ancestors got freaky in Tel Aviv.

This is also the first World Baseball Classic in six years, giving players from countries a needed global spotlight. The next one isn’t until 2026, so we’ll all be saved from preseason injuries in the next two years. What happened to Edwin Diaz was avoidable and an accident in a moment of jubilation. But let’s take down the whole tournament. Especially because of a perverted stance on how teams are drawn? Piss off, Olbermann. 

As Diamond Sports Group files for bankruptcy, its RSNs are left scrambling

Diamond Sports Group, the largest owner of regional sports networks, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday, March 14, 2023.

A huge portion of local sports broadcasting is in jeopardy after Diamond Sports Group, responsible for nearly half of local MLB, NHL, and NBA games under the Bally Sports brand, filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday in Texas. The conglomerates’ financial troubles stem from expensive broadcast rights agreements and the cord-cutting habits of sports fans.

Diamond Sports is a subsidiary of Sinclair Broadcast Group and listed its assets and liabilities as “between $1 billion and $10 billion each” in its Chapter 11 petition, per Reuters. Diamond’s CEO, David Preschlack, said the series of networks will continue to broadcast games while the company goes through the bankruptcy process. The company’s finances stand at $425 million in cash readily available, but it owes $9 billion to lenders. Diamond could pay back less than five percent at that value. By entering Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Diamond agreed to transfer ownership of the company from Sinclair to the lenders in exchange for eliminating $8 billion of their debt. Diamond broadcasts games for 42 professional teams in the big four sports leagues.

What happens to regional sports network employees?

Now what happens to the employees of those regional sports networks who broadcast the games of those 42 franchises? Getting absorbed by another national sports broadcaster with local ties and taking the financial slack off of Diamond is the easiest option, but who is readily available to take on that huge of a load? Every Bally Sports brand likely has hundreds of staff members and if they don’t get paid, why would they work? For now, broadcasts won’t be in jeopardy, but that’s a temporary band-aid for a much larger problem. Broadcasting rights for local sports and streaming services have become a viable path for networks to make money. Late last year, MSG announced the launch of a streaming service for $20-25 bucks a month as a cord-cutting way to watch the Knicks and Rangers. And it’s still in development. As for Bally Sports, it looks like a rough period will be on the horizon.

We’re committed to covering news about sports broadcasting, as well as all of sports. For more about Bally Sports and others, check out more stories here.

Shannon Sharpe drops F-Bomb on Undisputed (not directed at Skip Bayless)

Shannon Sharpe said “fuck” on TV

Anyone familiar with Undisputed on FS1 knows about the contentious relationship between co-hosts Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe. While shows like Undisputed are frequently blasted for being over-scripted, Sharpe and Bayless shared an unscripted moment on Thursday morning’s show.

The NFL Hall of Famer dropped the four-letter no-no while talking about the Clippers and Russell Westbrook. Ask any Clippers fan about rooting for that team, and they’ll tell you about dropping plenty of F-bombs over the past few years. Now that management has decided to jam Westbrook into the equation, the number of swears dropped per game has probably increased.


The part of this whole on-air debacle that should be surprising to most is that Shannon wasn’t hurling this F-bomb directly at Skip. Entering 2023, the odds of why Sharpe would curse on-air would’ve been heavily in Bayless’ favor following some of their interactions late in 2022. Although they’ve since squashed any lingering beef, everyone knows Bayless is an irritant and will only play nice for so long.

It sounds like Sharpe was able to be the bigger man in this situation and prompted the sit down with his co-host. But I still wouldn’t rule out another F-bomb the next time Bayless steps out of line and craps all over Sharpe’s football legacy in backing Tom Brady or whoever else he’s fanboying over.