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Charles Barkley Admits He Tried To Pay Dirk Nowitzki To Go To Auburn

“Instead of being disappointed in a teenager hanging 52 on the star-studded team, Barkley decided to work on recruiting the young Nowitzki to his former school which Barkley is now a very supportive fan of.”

Will Dundon

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Last night, long-time Maverick Dirk Nowitzki had his jersey retired in Dallas. Not long after, a video surfaced of Charles Barkley years ago explaining how he actually tried to recruit the 7-footer to play for Auburn.


“I called Nike. I said, ‘Find about this kid. Tell him I’ll give him anything he wants to go to Auburn,’” Barkley said in June, detailing the first time he met Dirk. “Anything he wants, we’ll get it done.”

This occurred in 1997, when Nowitzki was a teenager in Germany playing a Nike exhibition game against NBA stars such as Barkley, Michael Jordan, and Scottie Pippen. Barkley’s reason for recruiting Dirk was most likely obvious to everyone in attendance that day.

“Dirk finished with like 52 (points),” said Barkley.

Instead of being disappointed in a teenager hanging 52 on the star-studded team, Barkley decided to work on recruiting the young Nowitzki to his former school which Barkley is now a very supportive fan of. However, Nowitzki elected instead to bypass college altogether and jump from a German pro team to the NBA.

Although Nowitzki passed on Auburn, it may have been Barkley who stopped Nowitzki from making a different career choice.

“I said, ‘Where you gonna play (college basketball) at?’” Barkley recalls. “He says, ‘I have to go in the Army.’ I said, ‘Dude, you can’t go in the Army playing like that.’”

As Barkley tells it, he called Nike again later in the summer to make one last run at having Nowitzki sign with the Tigers.

“(Nike) said, ‘Well, he’s got to go in the Army.’ I said, ‘That dude is 7’ tall, he’s not going to the damn Army. What’s he gonna hide behind?’”

Barkley’s love for his alma matter has been the source of a lot of jokes both on Inside the NBA and when he sits at the desk for Turner and CBS’s coverage of March Madness. He is also a regular guest of College GameDay when ESPN takes the show to Auburn.

Certainly all of those colleagues have a new pool to dip into for jokes now that Chuck has admitted he was willing to commit a recruiting violation on behalf of the school.

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John Skipper: Media Has Not Treated Adam Silver Like He’s Teflon

“I don’t think anyone has hesitated to criticize him when he has done things that are controversial or difficult. Certainly, our friends at FOX News have not provided him with a Teflon coating.”

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Dan Le Batard hosted an interesting conversation on his Thursday show examining the performance of NBA commissioner Adam Silver during the press conference in which he announced the suspension of Suns owner Robert Sarver. David Samson and John Skipper joined Le Batard in the discussion.

Samson, former president of Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins, said of Silver “it’s amazing the level of Teflon he’s had, and I don’t know that it’s deserved in any way.” He added that the NBA commissioner’s performance was “not very well workshopped” when addressing the media.

John Skipper, co-founder of Meadowlark Media, acknowledged that the performance was not strong. He said that it was clear that Adam Silver was frustrated by the limitations his job put on what he could do about someone behaving in a way that he did not think was appropriate for the NBA. He did pushback on the idea that Silver had been immune from criticism.

“I’m not sure that I accept that he’s Teflon-like,” Skipper said. “He’s actually made most of the right decisions and done most of the right things and he’s gotten credit for that. I don’t think anyone has hesitated to criticize him when he has done things that are controversial or difficult. Certainly, our friends at FOX News have not provided him with a Teflon coating.”

Samson smiled during the answer, which Skipper addressed by acknowledging that Samson knows that Skipper is friends with Adam Silver. The Meadowlark boss called himself an “apologist” for Silver, but added

“I mostly think he’s done a fabulous job. If you want to hold up what commissioner has done most of the right things in the last seven or eight years, he’s not Teflon-coated, but he has a tremendous track record, which I think deserves our support.”

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Chris Long Tells Jim Rome He’s Gambled on Games to Keep Him Interested For His Podcast

“So you’re like alright I need to do my job tonight, and I’m tired I want to go to bed, but maybe I’ll just throw a couple hundred bucks on the Jaguars,” Long said. “And now I’m invested…”

Jordan Bondurant

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Placing bets on NFL games adds a whole other layer to the NFL viewing experience, and Super Bowl champion Chris Long understands that.

Long, who is not that far removed from his playing days in the league, was a guest on The Jim Rome Podcast, and said he initially considered gambling on football as something to compete at after retiring.

But now that he’s had some time to better learn the ins and outs of wagering, he’s become wiser and better informed. It’s helped him when talking about gambling on his own podcast, Green Light with Chris Long.

“I want to be responsible and give out good picks,” Long said. “I don’t want to just throw stuff out there because I’m getting paid by a casino. I’m really interested in the artform of gambling if that makes any sense.”

Long added that having that wagering itch definitely keeps him enthralled in watching football all day like a lot of other NFL fans, even those games people generally think won’t be that good competitively ahead of time.

He said it’s definitely helped with his show.

“I’m not even gonna lie, dude, sometimes you get burned out by football, right? I played it for a long time, now I’m covering it. So you’re like alright I need to do my job tonight, and I’m tired I want to go to bed, but maybe I’ll just throw a couple hundred bucks on the Jaguars,” Long said. “And now I’m invested and I can do my job more effectively because I’m gonna be glued to the TV. So like in a weird way it’s held me a little bit more accountable when it comes to staying on my game.”

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Shams Charania Signs New Contracts to Remain with Stadium and The Athletic

Shams joined those outlets in 2018 and had agreed to two other deals with them in that span.

Jordan Bondurant

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After speculation over his future, NBA insider Shams Charania is not going somewhere new.

Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported Wednesday night that Charania has signed new contracts to remain at Stadium/Bally Sports and The Athletic.

Shams joined those outlets in 2018 and had agreed to two other deals with them in that span.

Shams has been an integral piece in the growth and evolution of Stadium, elevating our content across both digital media and television experiences,” said Stadium CEO Jason Coyle. “He is one of the finest professionals and people in our industry, and we are truly excited to continue building upon our longstanding and trusted relationship.”

Charania, 28, is an integral part of Stadium/Bally Sports NBA coverage. He makes regular appearances on the Sinclair-owned networks on shows like Inside the Association and The Rally.

Shams has not yet addressed the news on his Twitter account, which has 1.8 million followers.

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