Admittedly it’s a fun topic, if for no reason than to poke a stick at our big cuddly bear of a buddy Charles Barkley and listen to him growl.
In fact, of all the great comedy routines ever done on TNT over the years, my favorite has always been Kenny Smith manning the velvet rope outside the “Champions Club” and laughingly taunting the well-known partier Sir Charles about his lack of credentials to get inside the door.
Occasionally, Smith would push open the door to let the sounds of dance music come and poke his head inside.
“Hey, Charles!” he would call out. “Look, it’s Mark Madsen! And Zan Tabak! Oh, Charles, look! It’s Jack Haley! Can you believe it? Jack Haley!”
It was a fantastic skit and all Barkley could do was shake his head and laugh, because, of course, after 16 often-mind-blowing seasons, he left the NBA ringless.
So here we are just hours from the start of the 2011 NBA Finals that feature LeBron James and Dirk Nowitzki as unfulfilled stars, pondering again the question for the ages: Does greatness require a ring?