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SALT LAKE CITY — Former NBA star and current TNT analyst Charles Barkley has weighed in on the murder-suicide of Kansas City Chiefs football player Jovan Belcher.
Speaking to USA Today, Barkley said he feels safer carrying a gun and that the issue surrounding Belcher's death is not about gun control, but about domestic violence.
"There's never a reason to hit a woman, touch a woman, or obviously kill a woman," Barkley said. "I hope people don't (overemphasize) the gun situation. I'm very sensitive to domestic violence because I have a daughter (23-year-old Christiana), and that's just one thing that I cannot accept in any shape or form whatsoever. It's just a crazy situation."
Throughout the week, the rhetoric following Belcher's death revolved around NBC's Bob Costas, who took to Sunday Night Football's halftime show to advocate for gun control. Barkley, however, said the issue cannot be about guns.
I don't get into the gun stuff. Some guys have guns who go hunting. Where do we stop (the gun control) at? I'm not a hunter, but we can't say people can't have guns. … Let's not make this thing about guns. Let's make this about mistreating women. That's unacceptable.
"I don't get into the gun stuff," Barkley said. "Some guys have guns who go hunting. Where do we stop (the gun control) at? I'm not a hunter, but we can't say people can't have guns. … Let's not make this thing about guns. Let's make this about mistreating women. That's unacceptable."
In a pre-taped broadcast of NBC's "Costas Tonight," which will air Thursday, Barkley speaks more about the bigger issue.
"Especially in the black community culture, it's a crime culture. We, as black people, and I always say ‘we', we won't have respect, we don't have respect for each other. We have more black men in prison than we do in college, and crime in our neighborhoods is running rampant. I know everybody reacts when something like the Belcher thing happens. But being black, this is something you deal with all the time, and it;s just sad. I'm a guy and I carry a gun."
Baby dolls for rookies
Rookie players in every professional league have to go through some sort of rite of passage to be inducted into the league. For years, Utah Jazz rookies have had to carry around pink and purple children backpacks. Last season, Enes Kanter would quickly escape the arena following a game to avoid being seen with his pink backpack. But such is the life for a rookie.
However, a backpack is nothing compared to the Cleveland Cavaliers' rookie initiation. According to ESPN Chicago, Cavs head coach Bryon Scott presented his rookies — Dion Waiter, Tyler Zeller and Kevin Jones — with baby dolls and pink strollers before the team's game against the Chicago Bulls.
"(Scott) didn't tell us (why)," Zeller said. "He just had them out there for us. It's just something you've got to do as a rookie. It's a rite of passage."
"Apparently you've got to carry milk and Pampers in this link pink bag," added Jones. "You've got to make sure it's always full with that (stuff) and bring it in and out of the arena with you, and you get in trouble if you don't have it with you."
Fortunately, that same rite of passage does not carry over into the regular working world. However, making interns carry around baby dolls and a stroller might make the newsroom a little more interesting.
Kobe does what Kobe does
You may not like him for whatever reason — his off the court issues, his flopping, his talent or the fact he's simply a member of the Lakers to name a few — but you can't really deny his scoring abilities.
On Wednesday, Kobe Bryant became the youngest player in NBA history to score 30,000 points. Bryant joined an elite list of only five players who have accomplished that feat: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387 points), Karl Malone (36,928), Michael Jordan (32,292) and Wilt Chamberlain (31,419).
- Wisconsin high school basketball player Lucas Marty makes a full court buzzer-beating shot.
- In the NCAA Division II playoff quarterfinals, Mary Hardin-Baylor senior quarterback LiDarral Bailey connects with wide receiver Caleb Moore for a great touchdown.