The yucksters over at TNT's Inside The NBA had a healthy bit of yucking to do last night thanks to Charles Barkley's foolish attempt to poke the bear that is Kevin Garnett. Barkley was discussing how his fellow Hall of Famers, including KG's guest Gary Payton, were going to vote after the most recent candidates for the Hall of Fame were released. The conversation quickly derailed into a roast session.
As Barkley begins—"Gary, you're in the Hall of Fame, Shaq, you're in the Hall of Fame, I'm in the Hall of Fame, Kevin you're a borderline Hall of Famer…"—Kenny Smith gets the ball rolling with a quizzical "borderline?" That frees Garnett up to go for the kill:
"Champion. Champion, it's all good. I'm a champion, too. Go 'head. Uh, Shaq, you're a champion. Gary, you're a champion. Kenny you're a champion—you know Chuck, you're almost a champion. Borderline champion."
Garnett, in his burn, was closer to the truth than Barkley was with his own. Garnett won in 2008 with the Boston Celtics and the prototypical Big Three. Shaq was a champion several times over with the Lakers and the Miami Heat, Kenny Smith won twice with the mid-nineties Rockets, and Payton got his also with Shaq and the 2006 Heat. Charles Barkley never won a championship.
Barkley's Phoenix Suns lost to Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls in the 1993 NBA Finals in six games.