NBA All-Star Weekend hasn’t officially begun until Charles Barkley says something outlandish on TNT’s Inside The NBA. On Thursday, Barkley broke the seal on the 2017 edition in New Orleans and, predictably, the internet in general was his target.
As part of the pregame show for Thursday’s game between the Boston Celtics and the Chicago Bulls, TNT revealed that the weekend will present Twitter emojis that coincide with each player and television personality. There were several players, highlighted by Anthony Davis and James Harden, that were blessed with interesting images, but Barkley stole the show by ranting about social media and his lack of appreciation for the medium.
In the video above, Barkley proudly declares, “I don’t even know what an emoji is,” before saying that he is “never going to do Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.” This does not come as a shock to anyone that follows Barkley’s work closely and the fact that he was assigned a donut as an emoji probably did not help his stance on the topic.
Prior to affirming his anti-social media stance, Barkley stated that he is “not talking to these fools on the internet” and that was called back near the end of the segment. He doubled down on the fact that the other TNT panelists “feel the need to talk to all these fools” and Kenny Smith (rightly) took Barkley to task in stating that the same people watching and engaging with the broadcast also know how to own and operate cell phones.
In true Charles Barkley fashion, he dismissed that notion outright and it was an example of a standoff that the show is famous for. At this point, there is a certain charm to Barkley’s aversion to the real world of technology in 2017 and this is the type of segment that can highlight it for all to see. Still, one has to wonder whether the shtick will tire with a younger audience eventually and there isn’t a ton of wiggle room in what Barkley had to say here.