TNT Notes November 16

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Forgot earlier…head over to The Commission for an old school head nod.

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I guess we have to talk about other sports.

The Barry Bonds indictment transcends baseball. Everyone is eager to chime in on this. Who better than the Chuckster…


Charles Barkley on Barry Bonds being indicted: “I am so disturbed by the Barry Bonds situation. First of all, Barry is a friend of mine, but for (the court system) to do this indictment three or four years later; I’m deeply disturbed that they made this a witch hunt for one particular guy. I’m not here to defend Barry, even though he’s my friend. For them to make this a witch hunt about one particular guy, it just disturbs me greatly.”

Barkley on if he is surprised that Bonds was indicted: “I’m not here to defend whether (Bonds) did (performance enhancing drugs) or not. If he did it, he’s not the only one. It can’t be a personal witch hunt if they don’t like a person’s personality…I’ve been watching the news for the last month and these other guys (are) coming up with these lame excuses that they were doctor-approved or they didn’t know they were taking it. (The public) believes them. I just think, from the beginning, baseball has screwed this thing up. Our job on this television show, because people believe what we say, is to be fair and honest. This has been a witch hunt from the beginning. If they are going to get one guy, you (have) got to get them all. But to go after one guy in particular, it does a disservice to the world.”

Kenny Smith on the Barry Bonds situation: “You have to be naïve to think that its not going to be a witch hunt for Barry Bonds, only because anytime there is any type of controversy of this magnitude, (whether it’s) sports or crime, they are going after the top guy. So they can make an example of him for everyone else. Barry Bonds was not going to be exonerated before they found out if he did or did not (do steroids), so that they make an example out of him to the lesser players. If they do it to the lesser play, then people say ‘it was only this player, player x or y.’ But if you say it’s Barry Bonds, you’re saying it’s Al Capone, there’s a big difference.”

Smith on NY Knicks guard Stephon Marbury who missed the Knicks’ game against the Suns on Nov. 13th: “When you demote Stephon Marbury, or you say you’re going to demote or you’re possibly going to demote, I would have been shocked if he wouldn’t have been upset. But he overacted, without question, by going home (and missing the game against the Suns). You can’t overreact and go home. The thing is that I would have been shocked if any player who has never come off the bench wasn’t upset about being put on the bench.”

Barkley on Stephon Marbury and Isiah Thomas: “Stephon Marbury is wrong. I like Isiah Thomas, I’ve been a big defender of his, but Stephon Marbury’s track record speaks for itself. If you can’t be happy playing with Kevin Garnett you’re never going to be happy. Isiah Thomas made a huge mistake bringing Stephon Marbury to the Knicks thinking he could change him. Stephon Marbury is who he is.”

Barkley on Stephon Marbury never improving: “Stephon Marbury is one of those guys that when he came to the NBA we said, ‘That guy is going to be a great player one day when he gets it.’ And then five years later you say, ‘He ain’t getting it yet. He’s never going to get it.’ Stephon Marbury is a very talented basketball player who’s never going to get it. He’s going to do it his way, which is the wrong way. You’d think a guy who has been on four teams would think, ‘I did it my way, but it ain’t working’ and he would change. But Stephon Marbury is not going to change.”

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Game 1: San Antonio Spurs (92) @ Dallas Mavericks (105)

Announcers Kevin Harlan and Reggie Miller; David Aldridge reporting

Miller on the different playing styles of San Antonio Spurs Francisco Elson and Fabricio Oberto: “They are two different players – Francisco Elson is a little bit more athletic and can run the floor much better than (Fabricio) Oberto, but Oberto is that bruiser, that tough guy that gets all the loose balls and second shot opportunities.”

Miller on Dallas assistant coach Mario Elie being able to relate well with his players: “Mario Elie has solidified Avery Johnson’s bench. He’s a guy who has won three championships, and it (hasn’t been) too (long) since he’s been retired…He understands the new breed of players and I think that’s helped the toughness of this team.”

Miller on Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich taming Tony Parker during his rookie year: “When (Tony Parker) came in as a rookie it was almost like a ‘horse whisperer’ (situation). Gregg Popovich had to break the thoroughbred, he was wild, he was undisciplined and (Popovich) said, ‘I’m going to throw him to the fire. I have to see if he’s able, at (age) 19, to lead our team.’”

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Halftime

Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Seattle SuperSonics forward Kevin Durant visited the TNT studio during halftime.

Durant on which player he was excited to play against: “Carmelo (Anthony). He’s from Maryland and I watched his games for a long time. He had 32 (points) against us, it was an easy 32…I got about 20 of that. He was amazing that night, and I’ve kind of followed his game for a long time and I try to pattern my game after his.”

Durant on surprises during his rookie year: “To be honest, from watching the games (at home) the games look slow. It looks like you can get to the lane whenever you want, but it’s nothing like that. It’s been fun and I’ve been learning a lot. Every game I’m looking forward to it.”

Durant on his weight: “I’m eating a lot, you just can’t see it. I’m still 19, I don’t think I’ll ever be big like Charles.”

Smith: “We hope not!”

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Miller on the flexibility of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and Mavericks coach Avery Johnson: “It’s all about adjustments and both of these coaches (Gregg Popovich and Avery Johnson) are great at making adjustments. They understand their ball clubs better than anyone. Popovich (understands) that his team didn’t play to its full advantage (last season).”

Miller on the value of keeping Kobe Bryant on the Lakers: “(Jerry) Buss would be crazy to lose Kobe Bryant. Whether you like him or not, he fills seats, he competes each and every night and he works hard.”

Miller on how team superstars should handle disagreements with team management: “If you’re the best player and you’re the captain, you are supposed to lead by example for the betterment of the team. If you have problems with management and you want to be traded you don’t make it a public forum by going on eight different radio shows and saying that you want to be traded…you don’t go about it that way. If you have problems you go to management and you discuss it quietly.”

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Game 2: Chicago Bulls (102) @ Phoenix Suns (112)

Announcers Marv Albert and Doug Collins with Craig Sager reporting

Collins on the Chicago Bulls: “The Chicago Bulls are a terrific defensive team. This year they’ve struggled a little bit, but I think a lot of it is their offense has been so bad and they’ve turned the ball over so it’s really compromised their defense. But they’re a terrific team, they step in, they take charges, they play dribble penetration and they help one another – that’s when they’re at their best.”

Collins on Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng : “I think (Luol Deng’s) the best mid-range shooter in the game.”

TNT’s Craig Sager interviewed Suns forward Grant Hill at halftime.

Hill on playing after his multiple ankle surgeries: “It’s great to be out here and to be able to play, to be healthy and be on a great team. There were many times that I doubted whether I’d get back, but I’m glad to be back and we just have to come back here in the second half and play a little better because this team is scrappy. It feels good and I’m just looking to go out and have fun and stay healthy.”

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Halftime

Johnson, Barkley and Smith

Barkley on the lack of leadership on the Bulls: “Your team has to have a leader. I like Adrian Griffin, I think he’s a good player, but he can’t call your team meetings. The Bulls don’t have a leader…if one of your players who doesn’t get in the game calls meetings, that’s not good.”

Barkley on Suns forward Grant Hill: “(Grant Hill) is finally going to the basket. For some reason, he started off the season shooting threes and he only made nine threes in 200 games in Orlando. He’s not a three (point) shooter. Grant Hill is a mid-range jump shooter and a slasher.”

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Collins with advice on getting out of a shooting slump: “When I was struggling, I was either going to get a lay-up or shoot some free throws. I wanted to see the ball going into the basket as opposed to shooting jump shots.”

Collins on Chicago Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich: “(Kirk) Hinrich is a very good on-the-ball defender. I think he’s one of the most underrated guys, although he was second-team all-league defense last year.”

Craig Sager interviewed Phoenix Suns GM Steve Kerr during the game.

Kerr on signing Grant Hill: “Grant (Hill) just has so much presence about him. He’s such a pro and he can still play – that was the question our fans had whether he could still move and run and play. I think he’s shown that early in the season that he can really play and he’s been a huge addition for us.”

Collins on Bulls forward Tyrus Thomas playing an integral role in the team’s line-up: “I like Tyrus Thomas with this group (Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, Andres Nocioni and Chris Duhon). Ben Wallace had really been struggling and wasn’t able to finish around the basket, Tyrus Thomas gives you a guy that’s sort of a wildcard. He can throw up a big night, he can block shots, he can get you some second chance points. This has been a good group for Scott Skiles.”

Collins on Phoenix Suns forward Boris Diaw: “We’re starting to see some of that passion (Boris Diaw) showed when he was the Most Improved Player in the NBA a couple of seasons ago. When Amare Stoudemire came back last year he sort of got lost in the shuffle, but he is such a valuable member of this team.”

Collins on Phoenix Suns forward Shawn Marion: “Shawn Marion just does it, he just brings it every single night. He may have talked about not being happy here, wanting an extension and some different things, but when the game is going to be played the guy is going to play for you…He’s going to play the game, he’s a competitor, that’s what he does.”

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Inside the NBA

Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith

Barkley on his impressions of the Phoenix Suns: “Phoenix is one of the better teams in the league but this team is still going to come down to Amare Stoudamire. Unless Amare Stoudamire stays out of foul trouble and becomes a better defender and rebounder, the Suns are going to get deep in the playoffs and lose. They’ve already proven that they can get to the Western Conference Finals without Amare Stoudamire, but his defense and rebounding (skills) have not gotten better. (Since) he is the best big man the Suns have, he’s going to be playing deep in the playoffs against (Utah’s) Carlos Boozer, (San Antonio’s) Tim Duncan, and (Dallas’) Dirk Nowitzki and if (Stoudamire) doesn’t get better defensively, (the Suns) are going to lose in the playoffs again.”

Ernie Johnson introducing a segment about Kenny Smith’s thoughts on the young season: “Kenny’s been doing some thinking”

Barkley: “Oh my God, is that why I smell burning?”

Barkley on the Orlando Magic’s strong start (7-2): “Dwight Howard has to play at such a high level every night…it’s a long season and everybody gets tired. If you’re a one-man team, (Allen Iverson) went through it in Philly, Kevin Garnett went through it in Minnesota, it’s impossible to (play at a high level) every night.”

Barkley on Golden State’s chances in the Western Conference: “Seattle will win some games (this season). Portland has really got a great future. Minnesota stinks, but Golden State is not going to make the playoffs.”

Smith: “I think that when (injured Warriors’ guard) Stephen Jackson comes back, not saying that he’s a franchise player but he puts everyone in their natural position. That is really going to help (the Warriors) a lot.”

Barkley on what Seattle SuperSonics head coach P.J. Carlesimo has to do to establish a strong foundation for his young team: “(P.J. Carlesimo) has to keep them playing hard and not get discouraged. I want P.J. to be successful because he is a friend of mine. I think he’s a great guy and you want great guys to be successful. But (the SuperSonics) are not going to win. They are too young and the West (Conference) is just a beast from top to bottom. (Carlesimo) has just got to keep them playing hard every night. And those people in Seattle, and I hope (the SuperSonics) stay there, but (the fans) have to be patient.”

Smith on teaching young players good habits: “The one thing that P.J. (Carlesimo) has to continue to bring is habits. You have to instill habits into young players. The tough part is players believe habits work when they win. When you are losing, some of the habits are good and they are forming. It’s difficult for young players to understand that this is really the way you need to play regardless of if you’re winning or losing.”

Craig Sager interviewed Chicago Bulls center Ben Wallace in the locker room after the game.

Wallace on if he feels the Bulls coaching staff has lost confidence in him after sitting out the fourth quarter for the fourth time in seven games this season: “For whatever is going on, all I can do is cheer for my teammates. As long as we win the game and get it done. If they lost confidence, that’s on them, (there’s) nothing I can do about that. (I) just go out there and play when I’m in the game and try to help my team win.”

Barkley on if Wallace shouldn’t have signed with Chicago as a free agent prior to the 2006-07 season: “Sometimes you have to take less money. He shouldn’t have left Detroit.”

Johnson: “Do you think he regrets (leaving Detroit)?”

Barkley: “Yeah.”

Smith: “I don’t know if he regrets it, but he misses it.”

4 Responses to “TNT Notes November 16”

  1. Thanks for posting that. Y’all rule. That show is the one where I might skip the game (although if I can hear Marv and the Czar, that’s cool) but Charles and Kenny are must see TV. Yet another reason (Charles’ take on Bonds) why he’s perhaps my favorite athlete in the whole country. god bless him-and Kenny THE JET….and of course my man Magic who my brother and I would watch and then go out in the yard and try to emulate, throwing no-look passes, behind the back….but always passing….that show is must see TV.

  2. Thanks TC. After a TNT telecast, I usually post notes in the early afternoon the next day.

  3. Ah OK…usually I catch it, but this time I only caught the post-game bit so missed the comments about Bonds, Steph, Kobe. I think their take on Starbu(cks)ry is true. I’ve thought the same thing. The first time you saw dude, you know-he can be as good as he wants to be, and as they said, as you watched him get older and unable to play with Kevin.Garnett. (Who else has ever complained about playing with Kevin.Garnett!?!?!), can’t play in PHX, can’t play with people in NJ. I mean, I love the guy’s heart at times-it’s obvious he is smart-his recognition that kids in the hood need some affordable sneaks is just that. His emotion in the wake of Katrina could not (well, if it could, maybe by Denzel) be faked…….but…..but………this man should have played on better teams. The stats don’t lie. Teams with him have not gotten even into Conference championships; I don’t believe they’ve even gotten into Semis-though I could be wrong. Like they said, if you don’t get it by age 27, forget it. Their comments about the flexibility of Pop and Avery J. are also a propos. I get tired of the negativity and taking those cats for granted. Greatness should be recognized and Pop is undoubtedly great and I think Avery is well on his way there. He knows what his teams to do; he is not negotiable on those terms, and he knows how to make little tweaks to fix up little shortcomings in his teams’ play. And it’s obviously tough love. Some coaches (cough cough Nelly) to me really seem like they must know something about the commish. I mean really, what has Nelly ever done? The thing that’s most telling about Nelly to me is that Avery took THE SAME ROSTER, maybe a couple of changes (Diop?) and got to the finals….when Nelly couldn’t get them out of the conference semis. And now Nelly is screwing up the Warriors. He doesn’t seem to realize that defense wins championships. It might not be sexy, but it’s true. Pop knows it, Phil Jackson knows it, Van Gundy knows it, Avery knows it; Nelly just thinks (and I use the term loosely) if we score 150, we’ll probably win. Anyway, excuse that rant, but it’s good to see Reggie, Charles, Kenny, Magic when he’s there, the Czar, Collins all shooting straight and giving up some honest to goodness hoops knowledge-and Ernie just about running the ship.

  4. True TC………….I have the NBA league pass and the announcers on the GSW game said that the players aren’t trying to play defense.

    I was like………….it ain’t the players fault their dumb @ss coach nellie doesn’t teach defense.

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