John Stravinsky's Spoilsports of the Century

Charles Barkley, NBA 1984­Present

Cute nicknames like Boy Gorge and Round Mound of Rebound followed Charles Barkley's early thunder up NBA hardwoods. But after 14 truculent years, call him pro hoops' mouth that roars. Now that the future Hall of Famer has announced his plans to run for governor of Alabama in 2002— he named Dan Quayle and Rush Limbaugh as mentors— prospective voters might want to reflect on selected quips from a turbulent career:

"We don't need refs, but I guess it gives white guys something to do."— February 1990

"We just have a lot of fun." (explaining his $500 game bets with the Knicks' Mark Jackson)— February 1990

"I'll write it off my income tax." (re: his league-leading $45,000 in fines in 1990)— July 1990

"This is a game that if you lose, you go home and beat your wife and kids."— November 1990

"It was a bad, bad thing, but it's not like I killed somebody." (after spit intended for a heckler nails an eight-year-old girl)— April 1991

"He might have a spear hidden somewhere." (re: his excuse for elbowing a significantly smaller Angolan opponent at the Barcelona Olympics)— July 1992

"I've got to stop drinking . . . it's been affecting my game."— February 1998

"You're black now. Forget about that Asian shit." (to Tiger Woods)— May 1998

"I allowed myself to be provoked by a malicious bar patron." (re: his throwing an Orlando man through a plate-glass window)— June 1998
 
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