In a hot viral video posted to YouTube, Charles Barkley can be seen and heard talking with his TNT announcer colleagues over a commercial break during Thursday’s game between Miami Heat and the Atlanta Hawks. Pretty unspectacular premise, except that Barkley made several untoward comments regarding the Hawks and called his new gig as a spokesperson for Weight Watchers a scam.
Now Barkley poked fun at Weight Watchers while on air as well, laughing off a question from announcer Kevin Harlan about Barkley’s beer consumption, with the Round Mound of Rebound saying light beer consumption was all well and good, and that Weight Watchers has helped him lose 38 pounds.
His comments for the Hawks during the game were actually worse than during the commercial breaks, with him focusing his cynicism on 27-year-old rookie Ivan Johnson, praising him for almost making a jump shot, and expressing surprise that Atlanta fans didn’t give him a standing ovation when he walked off the court. Despite gentle intervention from co-announcer Reggie Miller who stood up for Johnson, Barkley continued his tirade into the commercial breaks, with all announcers then agreeing with him that the Hawks were unwatchable.
Friday saw a response from both Weight Watchers and Barkley himself regarding his comments. From Weight Watchers:
“We love Charles for the same reason everyone loves Charles, he’s unfiltered. We are thrilled that he is having great success and inspiring millions of men to join him. We agree that being a spokesman for Weight Watchers is a pretty great gig.”
“I meant what I said, the fact that I’m dropping pounds, getting healthier and getting paid at the same time, is my definition of a great scam. The only problem is I’m going to have to use some of the money to buy a new wardrobe.”
So maybe it was just a shruggable public tete-a-tete when all is said and done, but it was entertaining nonetheless. Speaking of entertaining, I would love love love to post the video for your viewing pleasure, except that the NBA keeps removing every upload they can find from YouTube for copyright reasons. Good luck in your search, caballeros.
Is this just business-as-usual for Barkley, or do you see some potential for offense in his words?