Charles Barkley was John Calipari’s guest on this morning’s “Coffee with Cal,” and while we’ve already shared his hilarious dig at Draymond Green and concerns over the G League’s Professional Pathway Program, the interview was so entertaining I’ve got leftovers to pass along.
Cal’s Quarantine Beard is still growing
“It’s growing but I just need to know, will it get darker or does it keep getting whiter? I don’t know what’s going on with this thing. I’m not that old to have gray hair! What’s going on?”
Barkley has never had a cup of coffee
Barkley pointed out the irony of appearing on a show called “Coffee with Cal” when he’s never had a cup of coffee in his life. Barkley preferred to get his caffeine from Diet Coke before cutting soda out of his diet as an attempt to be healthier during quarantine.
“I’m not even exaggerating, I had 10 to 20 [Diet Cokes] every day for the last 30 years,” Barkley said. “I have drank more water in the last six weeks than I have in the last 55, 56 years of my life.”
Barkley said he and his buddies are also cutting back on alcohol during quarantine, only drinking on the weekends, working out virtually on their Pelotons, and playing lots of golf. Way to make the rest of us feel bad about our quarantine drinking habits, Chuck.
The tales from the Nike golf trips are legendary
Calipari and Barkley swapped stories from old Nike retreats, including the time Barkley golfed with Bob Huggins, a notorious cheat on the links.
“I got one question,” Cal said. “You played with Bob Huggins. Did he ever lose a ball? I’ve been with him when I saw a splash and he’d go down and say, ‘I found it!’ I’m like, I saw it splash, what do you mean you found it?”
“Bobby’s one of those guys who are going to hit the ball three fairways over and you can hear a couple whacks at it and then when it gets to the green, he’s putting for birdies,” Barkley said. “It was amazing.”
This feels like a good time to remind you that Charles Barkley is not good at golf.
Lots of talk about Jordan
Everyone’s talking about “The Last Dance,” including Calipari and Barkley, who traded stories about the GOAT. Barkley recalled the first time he saw Michael Jordan play at the 1984 Olympic Team trials. At the time, Barkley was still at Auburn and pissed off because Bobby Knight cut him from the team even though he was the second best player there. The best? Michael Jordan.
“I said, ‘Coach, I just saw the best basketball player I’ve ever seen in my life. His name was Michael Jordan, he’s from North Carolina.’ I said, ‘I’ve never seen a basketball player, like, I thought I was a really good player, but this guy is the best player…this dude is the best I’ve ever seen.'”
Barkley also testified to Jordan’s fierce competitiveness, telling the story of how Jordan played 36 holes of golf before demanding to guard Puerto Rico’s point guard in a Tournament of the Americas game with the Dream Team.
“He said, ‘I read something he said about me in the newspaper and I got him.’ And the whole room is like, you just played 36 holes of golf and you’re going to guard the point guard. Michael would not let this little dude dribble…Michael had played 36 holes of golf and he’s talking to the guy the whole time, Cal. ‘Hey, don’t you ever talk about me in public again. I’m Michael Jordan. Don’t you ever talk about me.'”
A great quote about the Bad Boys
Last night’s episodes of “The Last Dance” detailed the Detroit Pistons’ reputation for playing dirty, which Barkley said was 100% deserved. During a debate about the greatest player of all time, Barkley said he has a ton of respect for LeBron James, but the game of basketball isn’t the same now as it was back in the 80s and 90s.
“I do think the way they play the game today, [LeBron] didn’t want any part of those Bad Boy Pistons,” Barkley said. “Those guys were out there trying to hurt people. I used to always tell people that when you play the Pistons, you gotta call your family and tell them you love them just in case you never saw them again.”
An even better quote about Shaq
Cal complimented Barkley’s work on Inside the NBA, which led to this classic quip about his cohost Shaquille O’Neal.
“You can tell that one, that you’re all really smart, but two, you’re all–”
“Everybody but Shaq,” Barkley interrupted. “Shaq’s not smart, stop it.”
I have watched this ten times and I’m still laughing.
Calipari: “You can tell that one, you’re all really smart—”
Charles Barkley: “Everybody but Shaq. Shaq’s not smart, stop it.” pic.twitter.com/y0hC3jKY0N
— Tyler Thompson (@MrsTylerKSR) April 27, 2020
There was some friendly trash talk
Auburn’s win over Kentucky in the 2019 Elite Eight was bound to come up. Barkley included both schools in his argument for high school recruits going to college instead of the G League for a year, which prompted Cal to interrupt.
“To go to a major college, whether it’s Kentucky, Auburn, Duke, North Carolina– ”
“Nah, nah, don’t say those other two,” Cal said. “Just say, ‘Go to Kentucky.’ This isn’t Coffee with Bruce [Pearl]. That ain’t what that is!”
“Hey, there’s a rumor going around that you canceled March Madness because you didn’t want Auburn to beat you again in the tournament,” Barkley quipped.
“Hey, let me ask you, when they beat us in overtime, were you just so happy or did you think of me and say, ‘I’m happy for Auburn but I feel bad for Cal,’ or did you say, ‘I don’t give a sh*t about Cal, I’m glad they beat his butt.’ Overtime is even better, a stab in the heart. And we beat them by 30 two weeks prior. How did that happen?! Oh my gosh.”
Stop reminding us, Cal.
Do yourself a favor and watch the entire interview below. It’s worth it.
Join John Calipari and his guest, Charles Barkley, for Coffee With Cal in partnership with CustMbite!
Posted by John Calipari FBE on Monday, April 27, 2020