Charles Barkley was not happy with former CBS sportscaster Billy Packer, and made his feelings known tonight during TNT’s Mavs/Knicks halftime show. We’ll get into why Chuck was mad in a minute. First, here’s a video (transcript follows).
Charles Barkley: Billy Packer took a shot at us. You know, me and [fellow TNT analysts] Ernie [Johnson] and Kenny [Smith] discussed it, and Ernie wanted to always be the bigger man. Kenny wanted to be the bigger man. Me? Not so much! Not so much. I don’t let people say stuff to me and get away with it. Billy Packer, you might be right. We might not be very good and know all the players and all the teams in college basketball. I don’t know any players on Wofford or UNC-Asheville. You’re absolutely right. Stop being a jackass,
Kenny Smith, off camera: “Way to take the high road..”
Barkley: “I know you said they should have went to ESPN. There was one problem. ESPN didn’t have $11 billion. We did. That’s why we got it. Enjoy the march madness and shut the hell up. Okay.”
Okay, now for why Barkley is mad: Packer, in an interview with USA Today’s Michael Hiestand, criticized the new television format for the NCAA tournament. Instead of being shown solely on CBS this year, the tourney will be shown on CBS and three Turner-owned networks, and NBA announcers will be used to call the games. Packer fears that using NBA announcers (like, say, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith) will bring down the quality of the telecast. Barkley obviously took exception to this.