Leftovers: Barkley is must-listen in NBA playoffs

The one area college basketball fans have rightly been able to point as being superior to the NBA is the NCAA Tournament.

Those fans certainly can’t bring up the actual play on the court, those 60-55 college snooze-fests of missed shots and turnovers compared with the 100-98 shootouts offered by the big boys.

Now even the NBA is matching college basketball’s postseason, with three Game 7s today in series that all have soap-opera storylines.

The NBA also has Charles Barkley to give an opinion on a regular basis and not just for four weeks during the tournament. He hasn’t let anyone down in the past few days on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” or other forms of media.

On Magic Johnson’s glee over Mike D’Antoni stepping down as Los Angeles Lakers coach: “Listen, Mike D’Antoni is a good coach. They didn’t give him a lot to work with. But Magic Johnson, he’s bigger than that.”

On the Indiana Pacers’ late-season struggles and difficulties to get out of the first round: “Let me tell you something, I’m 100 percent sure that if they lose in the first round, they are going to break that team up.”

On Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who is expected to fight to hold on to his club after being banned for life for making racist statements: “No basketball is going to be played next year if Donald Sterling still owns the Clippers.”

He even weighed in on Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston stealing crab legs, saying the Heisman Trophy winner “is just a damn idiot.”

Agree or disagree with Barkley, tuning him out is not an option.

■ SECOND CAREER — If the NASCAR thing doesn’t work out, Brad Keselowski might make it as a sports writer.

He made news April 22 on his blog by proposing a makeover to the NASCAR schedule. Among his suggestions was putting the season-ending championship race in Las Vegas.

Keselowski came out with another blog Thursday, and this was his lead: “The first time I witnessed someone die on a racetrack, I was 8 years old.”

Now that will get your attention.

He wrote about deaths in motor sports and his reactions to them, even quoting Ernest Hemingway. Keselowski closed the blog by listing what motivates him to keep competing in the dangerous sport, saying money and statistics aren’t factors.

“I race for my team more than anything else,” he wrote. “I race for the people around me.

“They are what life — and living — are all about.”

If Barkley is a must-listen, Keselowski is quickly becoming a must-read.

■ SHERMAN UPDATE — It has been awhile since we’ve heard from Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, but no need to worry.

He will be a guest at tonight’s White House Correspondents Dinner, a good warmup for when he and his teammates visit President Barack Obama to celebrate their Super Bowl championship.

Sherman is best known for his rant on national TV right after making the game-saving play in the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Showing he has a sense of humor, Sherman re-enacted that moment in an ad for the Swedish Cancer Institute.

“The Swedish Cancer Institute is the best in the game!” he yelled, wearing a Seahawks uniform. “And when you try them with some weak cancer cells like that, that’s the result you’re going to get!”

Even 49ers fans have to appreciate that.


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