There may be no more quotable interview in sports than Charles Barkley.  On Wednesday the Chuckster made one of his routine appearances on the Dan Patrick Show and spoke some truth about the self-proclaimed worldwide leader in sports.  It's rare that you see major network personalities criticize competitors in any way, especially ones that are television partners in broadcasting a league together.  The Inside the NBA crew even made an ESPN cameo earlier this year and Barkley has appeared on the network for interviews countless times.

But, there's still a few things Barkley disagrees with on how Bristol does business.  Oh, and he still hates Skip Bayless with the fire of a thousand suns…

On his frustrations with ESPN…

"I call it the ESPN disease.  All these guys get on TV every day, they're experts on every sport, it drives me crazy."

On whether ESPN has ever offered him a job…

"They call me every year, but I would never go there.  Number one they work their guys too hard, but also I think they manufacture stories.  They manufacture controversies."

On Dan Patrick joking that he could channel Skip Bayless…

"The next sound you'll hear is me killing myself."

The most interesting element here is the fact that ESPN has tried to consistently snatch Charles Barkley from Turner.  I can imagine they pulled up a medium-sized dumptruck of money to his house this past year when they were completely rebuilding their NBA studio group.  Imagining Charles Barkley on ESPN consistently would certainly be a compelling thought experiment.

However, Barkley's criticism is one we've shared countless timesthe network has a habit of manufacturing stories.  It's one thing for a blog to recognize that, it's quite another for one of the most popular broadcasters in the profession to recognize that.  Barkley's completely right on this subject too – the recent Embrace Debate led phenomenon of "did Team A win or Team B lose" may be the dumbest and most pointless debate trope in sports.  Of course Team A won and Team B lost.  It's called competition!  There are winners and losers.  Like, al the time!  Revolutionary thought, I know.

And I'm no fan of Skip Bayless, but Barkley shouldn't be THAT hard on him.  After all, if he was Skip Bayless, he would finally have that ripped, chiseled physique he's always longed for.

About Matt Yoder

Award winning sportswriter at The Comeback and Awful Announcing. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.

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