Charles Barkley: At Least the Knicks Have a Coach Who 'Won't Try to Kill Himself'

It often feels like Charles Barkley can get away with saying anything. Somehow, Barkley's a good-natured, entertaining grump, beloved by everyone, who regularly talks to hear his own voice but gets the value of well-placed sarcasm and insight. It's such a confounding, and ingenious, persona that people tend to always find some positive and brush away any negatives. Until now. ↵
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↵Yes, Charles Barkley has finally said something that just plain sucked. From Newsday: ↵
↵⇥In discussing ways in which the Knicks should be improved this season, Barkley said, "I think they have a better coach. This coach probably won't try to kill himself." ↵⇥[...] ↵⇥
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↵⇥Barkley, usually not one to shy from potentially insensitive remarks, seemed to sense his attempt at humor had crossed a line. "That's my fault," he said. ↵
↵The part I cut from the story cites "nervous laughter" from reporters, which to me says that, while making fun of someone who may have just tried to kill himself is in incredibly bad taste, deep down inside, that level of bad taste is still, for some, a guilty pleasure. But those people are sick and should be sent to jail. So here's to Barkley, for realizing that some things must be taken seriously on terms other than his own. And for moving on quickly, so that his self-editing didn't become more about Barkley than the gaffe he'd just made. ↵
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↵Part of Barkley's appeal is a style that is always this close to some kind of disaster. Here, he walked right into it and I suspect, earned some respect from his critics by admitting his mistake. Though I see it as him realizing that, for once, the act he'd worked so hard to perfect during his time in the public eye sometimes just won't cut it.↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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