Charles Barkley: “Well, I would have to say and this happened at basically at the beginning of the year, the Boise State-Oklahoma game, was the best football game I have ever seen in my life.
“Living in Arizona, just sitting there watching that game, I was like, ‘Wow.’ It was just such a, so, many peaks and valleys in that game. And I got to admit I was pulling for the little guy. No. 1, I bet on the little guy. I had Boise State plus seven.”
DECLINING MAVERICKS: On TNT’s Thursday night doubleheader, Barkley talked about the declining Mavericks, who lost to the Denver Nuggets’ 122-109 in the first game of the doubleheader: “ Dallas is in trouble, they’ve got to make a trade or do something. They have reverted totally back to an offensive team. I was so disappointed the other night when they lost to San Antonio without Tim Duncan. They are just soft, the game always comes down to defense and rebounding, you aren’t going to beat the Spurs, Phoenix or Utah by outscoring them. Utah and San Antonio are the two best defensive teams and Phoenix is the best offensive team.”
Reggie Miller on the decline of Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki’s stats: “Teams are going to play (Dirk Nowitzki) differently. His points are down, his shooting percentage is down, more importantly, what he is known for since he came into the league is his three-point shooting for his size, all these numbers are down. I think teams are playing him differently. I think (Spurs forward) Bruce Bowen put out the blueprint out on how to play him – you crowd him, you force him to his right, he likes to go left. I wonder if he is a little tired from playing for his club team in Germany. All these things factor in.”
Mike Fratello on Mavs coach Avery Johnson and Nuggets coach George Karl being the coaches to wear microphones during the game: “I’m proud of both coaches (Avery Johnson and George Karl) because they’re going along with the spirit of what this is all about. This is the cooperation between the league and the networks to give our viewers more access and an inside understanding of what actually takes place. It is a very touchy situation, so these two coaches are the pioneers.”
The innovation didn’t produce many gems Thursday night. Here are a few of Karl’s comments during timeouts.
“Our defense fell apart in the last six or seven minutes of that quarter. Everyone get back to playing defense more seriously.”
“Let’s try to win the game with stops and not try to win the game with shots.”
FLIPPING CHANNELS: FSN debuts “Mind Body and Kickin’ Moves,” a weekly martial arts series, with two 30-minute episodes at 11 p.m. Sunday. Hosted by martial arts expert Chris Crudelli, the series takes viewers on a mystical journey through the Far East, shining a light on ancient martial arts practices that are still being taught and new specialties being developed and perfected. … ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown,” `10 a.m. Sunday, includes an interview with Dallas Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens and Kenny Mayne’s tongue-in-cheek profile of Cowboys line coach Tony Sparano. The “Mayne Event” feature will include special appearances by three cast members of the popular HBO drama “The Sopranos,” including Tony Sirico (Paulie), Steve Schirripa (Bobby) and Dominic Chianese (Uncle Junior).