Barkley will be missed

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 9, 1999

Charles Barkley went down for the count Wednesday. Barkley, who announced earlier this year that this will be his final year to play, ruptured a tendon in his knee Wednesday night during the first quarter of his farewell game in Philadelphia.

Barkley was going up to block a shot by Tyrone Hill when his leg buckled and he hit the floor hard. His left kneecap bulging badly, Barkley simply grabbed the knee, put his mouthpiece in his sock and called for the trainer.

While Barkley has at times been a guy you love to hate, you had to always love his honesty and the colorful quips he could come up with.

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The NBA, already trying to bounce back from the loss of Larry Bird and Michael Jordan, suffers another setback.

Because, even if you hated Barkley, you wanted to see him play. Especially after Dennis Rodman retired his act.

So in honor of Barkley and with some assistance from former Democrat sports writer Raymond Reeves, I’m offering some classic quotes from the past.

n New Orleans Saint RB George Rogers when asked about the upcomingseason: &uot;I want to rush for 1,000 or 1,500 yards, whichever comes first.&uot;

n And, upon hearing Joe Jacoby of the ‘Skins say &uot;I’d run over my own mother to win the Super Bowl,&uot; Matt Millen of the Raiders said, &uot;To win, I’d run over Joe’s Mom too.&uot;

n Football commentator and former player Joe Theisman: &uot;Nobody in football should be called a genius. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein.&uot;

n Former Oiler coach Bum Phillips: When asked by Bob Costas why he takes his wife on all the road trips, Phillips responded, &uot;Because she is too ugly to kiss good-bye.&uot;

n Bill Peterson, a Florida State football coach: &uot;You guys line up, alphabetically by height.&uot;

n Boxing promoter Dan Duva on Mike Tyson hooking up again with promoter Don King: &uot;Why would anyone expect him to come out smarter? He went to prison for three years, not Princeton.&uot;

n Shaquille O’Neal on whether he had visited the Parthenon during his visitto Greece: &uot;I can’t really remember the names of the clubs that we went to.&uot;

n Pat Williams, Orlando Magic general manager, on his team’s 7-27 record: &uot;We can’t win at home. We can’t win on the road. As general manager, I just can’t figure out where else to play.&uot;

n Chuck Nevitt, North Carolina State basketball player, explaining to Coach Jim Valvano why he appeared nervous at practice: &uot;My sister’s expecting a baby, and I don’t know if I’m going to be an uncle or an aunt.&uot;

n Tommy Lasorda, Dodger manager, when asked what terms Mexican-born pitching sensation Fernando Valenzuela might settle for in his upcoming contract negotiations: &uot;He wants Texas back.&uot; n Mike McCormack, coach of the hapless Baltimore Colts after the team’s co-captain, offensive guard Robert Pratt, pulled a hamstring running onto the field for the coin toss against St. Louis: &uot;I’m going to send the injured reserve players out for the toss next time.&uot;

n Steve Spurrier, Florida football coach, telling Gator fans that a fire at Auburn’s football dorm had destroyed 20 books: &uot;But the real tragedy was that 15 hadn’t been colored yet.&uot;

n Jim Finks, New Orleans Saints GM, when asked after a loss what he thought of the refs: &uot;I’m not allowed to comment on lousy officiating.&uot;

And since Barkley’s the man of the hour, here’s one more from Barkley following his injury: ”Just what America needs. One more unemployed black man.”

Joey Martin is sports editor of The Democrat. He can be reached by calling 446-5172 ext. 232 or at