Barkley says Warriors play ‘girly basketball’
TNT basketball analyst Charles Barkley has long been a critic of the Golden State Warriors, insisting their perimeter-oriented offense is unlikely to prevail against playoff teams with a bruising inside game. Barkley, who is seldom without an outrageous opinion, said, “Maybe I’m old school, but I’m never gonna like that little girly basketball where you have to outscore people. . . . I love women’s basketball, but I don’t want it in the NBA.”
Dear Charles: If you’re not impressed by Klay Thompson’s 60-point game, consider that the Warriors since Steve Kerr became head coach have ranked in the top 10 in defense three consecutive seasons. And let’s not forget, defense was not your priority when you were a player.
Newton benched for not wearing a tie
Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton violated his team’s dress code by not wearing a tie on the chartered flight to Seattle on Saturday night. As the players were boarding a bus to leave the airport, coach Ron Rivera confronted Newton and told him that he would not be starting the Sunday night game against the Seahawks. Rivera did not inform the media of his decision before the game began, so commentators could not explain why Newton was not starting. The matter gained significance when backup Derek Anderson threw an opening-play interception that resulted in a Seattle field goal and a quick 3-0 lead that eventually grew to 40-7. Newton, who is known for his devotion to fashion, said after the game that he had plenty of ties, but none that looked right with the turtleneck he was wearing. Rivera said he punished other players for the same violation and he felt it would not be fair to exempt the quarterback. “All I did was treat a player the way I did any other player,” he said. Some observers interpreted the incident as indicating lack of leadership by Newton. Hall of Fame QB Warren Moon said on NFL Monday QB that Newton “definitely has a problem with learning how to deal with losing. . . . You gotta follow the rules.”
Moss says Cowboys not among NFL’s top four
Trying to apply college football’s committee approach to determine playoff berths, ESPN had a panel of five experts select the four best teams in the NFL. Charles Woodson, Matt Hasselbeck and Chris Berman all ranked the Dallas Cowboys as top seed, since they’ve won 11 straight games and have the NFL’s best record. One panelist, Trent Dilfer, ranked Oakland No. 1 and Dallas second. But the fifth panelist, Randy Moss, did not have Dallas in the top four. “I’m going on who is ready for the playoffs and who has the experience,” Moss said. When it was pointed out that the Cowboys are the first team to clinch a playoff berth, Moss said, “Wait until January, they might be the first team to exit.”
Patriots’ Blount: Rams ‘bail on 1-on-1 tackling’
New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount observed that while the Los Angeles Rams excel at gang-tackling, some of them are afraid to tackle him one-on-one. “We know they bail when it’s one on one tackling,” he told the Boston Herald after the Patriots walloped the Rams 26-10 Sunday. Blount who is 6-0, 250 pounds, ran 43 yards for a touchdown, and it appeared that at least one defender ran away from him. “I can’t recall a time when I’ve ever seen that,” Blount said.
Darrelle Revis ponders retirement from football
The New York Jets’ Darrelle Revis is arguably the greatest cornerback since Deion Sanders, but at 31 he’s not the player he used to be, and he’s pondering retirement. “I want to retire as a Jet,” he said, even though he has used free agency to play for two other NFL teams. But if he plays as a Jet next year, it will be a fraction of his current $15 million salary. Last summer Revis said he wants “to play until the wheels fall off,” but that indeed seems to be what’s happening. Revis Island is getting bombed on a regular basis, and speculation is increasing that the end is near.