Reggie Miller and his large but sensitive ears physically recoil from Charles Barkley's potty mouth. And whatever that thing is on his head.
We're used to Charles Barkely's on-air -- and off-air -- escapades. It keeps TNT's NBA broadcasts a notch above the canned banter heard elsewhere, and they're usually mild enough to cause a moderate stir but not too much trouble ("I don't care what this cow went through," he said once while eating a hamburger on air).
Even so, Barkley had a notable Satuday night on-air after the Magic beat the Cavs to earn an NBA finals appearance against the Lakers. When interupted by colleague Kenny Smith, a disgruntled Barkley interjected with an "Are you finished, numbnuts?"
Ah, fifth grade bathing suit area humor! It's both entirely unprofessional and exactly what most viewers say at home to their friends and family, which equates to "totally endearing."
But then his remarks got a little...after hours. During the segment of the show when the talking heads shout out the production staff, Barkley -- who usually lovingly refers to affable producer Tim Kiely with a mild "my big fat obnoxious boss" -- reacted to Kiely's name with a "(cough)p---y!(cough)."
"What is wrong with you?" Reggie Miller asked, hilariously aghast, as he physically recoiled from Barkley and the others tried to pretend it never happened.
The Barkley-est part about the whole thing is that Sir Charles likely won't even get in trouble. It's just Barkley being the Barkley he's paid to be, and after all, Kiely's one rule for his rotund rebel is "to watch his mouth early in, when kids could still be watching."
Or maybe he will, depending on how crude terms for kittens are viewed. "All he says is, 'Don't curse,'" Barkley has said of Kiely. "That's the extent of his expertise."
Now that we've got that settled, maybe now we'll find out the extent of his patience with a big fat potty mouth.
Janie Campbell can't wait for the wreckage when Charles Barkley runs for office as he's promised. Her work has appeared in irreverent sports sites around the Internet.