Charles Barkley has a lot to do: Basketball Hall of Famer, former NBA MVP, double Olympic gold medalist and, as reminded by everyone on TNT Wednesday night, is a fan of hockey.
Barkley has spoken of his passion for the sport several times, which he says dates back to the 80s.
In doing so, he was asked to help explain christen’s new hockey – and he actively enjoyed Hockey Hall of Famer and studio presenter Wayne Gretzky. The pair spoke of Barkley’s hockey passion, when Chuck offered the club the opportunity to host online.
As the conversation turned to physicality and the participation in the sport, Barkley quickly changed music to shoot Gretzky: “The Great” just hit two fights in his prestigious NHL career, both of which were more than 30 years ago. It was not Gretzky’s fight, or his absence, that Barkley derided. It wasn’t that Gretzky lost.
And to those who lost him, as well as his appearance:
Gretzky lost the battle with Neal Broten in a 1982 match between Oret of Gretzky and the North Stars of Broten (formerly of Minnesota and now a Dallas team). Barkley was quick to point out the Broten franchise which, being in the 80’s, was not a surprise at all. Gretzky was a good player in this regard, acknowledging the humor of what happened and adding a few more: He was just honored as Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year earlier in the day and, in a boxing penalty, looked and did the same in China, apologizing to American Broten.
Not to worry though, as Gretzky finally got the final word against Barkley during the first break of the Ranger-Capitals game Wednesday at TNT.
He was ridiculed at parties that had already taken place, but when the first break came, Barkley stepped into the net and stopped firing on Gretzky. He decided not to use the pads, and took an illegal approach that ultimately paid off for Gretzky:
The video was the first of its kind for TNT, and Barkley and Gretzky’s tandem got the attention. Given that Barkley enjoys playing hockey and being an important part of NBA broadcasting, don’t be surprised to see Barkley return to the NHL studio soon.