Earlier today, I mentioned an interview on CNN with Charles Barkley.
For those non-sports fans among you, "Sir Charles," AKA "The Round Mound of Rebound" was an NBA player for the Philadelphia 76ers, the Phoenix Suns, and the Houston Rockets. He is one of only four NBA players to have gained more than 23,000 points, 12,000 rebounds, and 4,000 assists (the others include Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, and Karl Malone). He won two Olympic gold medals, in 1992 as part of the "Dream Team," and also in 1996. In 1996, he was named to the NBA's Top 50 players of all time. He is now an NBA analyst for TNT.
So they guy has got some major cred when it comes to hoops!
As incredible player as he was, he often got more attention for his outspokenness. He's the guy who said he wasn't a role model...that athletes shouldn't BE role models to kids, and that their parents should be. One of my favorite quotes is, "These are my new shoes. They're good shoes. They won't make you rich like me, they won't make you rebound like me, they definitely won't make you handsome like me. They'll only make you have shoes like me. That's it." I remember hearing a radio interview on Bob & Tom with him a few years ago , in which he was talking about his teenage daughter going on dates, which was going to be happening soon. He said he was going to make the kid taking her out come up to the door, and Charles was going to answer the door. Can you imagine the door opening and seeing this intimidating guy standing there?! Charles said his plan was to kill the kid, and said, "I figure if I kill the first one, word will get around."
Ha ha! Oh, I just love the guy, and I've even read his book, I May Be Wrong, But I Doubt It. He's such a character, but I've always appreciated his bluntness. He's a huge gambler, but he's also donated millions to Alabama (his home state) schools.
In the interview yesterday--he's attending the Democratic National Convention, and is thrilled about it--he spoke about how things need to change in our country, but went on to say, honestly, that it didn't really matter to him or his finances who is in office. He's made millions, he made good investments, he saved plenty...but he wants to see help for all those people who are struggling, all the "poor people," and he wants to see improvement in education. He's often talked about eventually running for the governor of Alabama, and says that they really need help with their schools. (No offense to anyone from Alabama, those were Charles' words.)
The interviewer had some statistics for Charles. They had a list of incomes broken down into categories, and how much extra it would cost each income category if Obama's tax increase occurs, versus how much LESS people would have to pay if McCain's tax cuts occur. The top category was $2.9 million and above, and Charles said, "Oh, I make a lot more than that." Ha! If the tax cuts were in place, I recall that Charles would actually have to pay LESS, or only slightly more. If the tax increase occurs, on those making $250,000 and above, Charles would have to pay over $700,000 more in taxes. Charles' reaction? "I'm okay with that." He went on to say that he makes a lot of money, and he was okay with paying more if it meant that we can turn things around in this country.
Yeah...I like Sir Charles.
Here's a fun Nike commercial for you. If you want to hear the sound, you'll need to turn it way up. At the end, Charles says, "I hear the Lakers are looking for a big man."