Dear Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Chris Webber,
And I mean this is the nicest way possible: Shut the fuck up! At the very least, actually listen before talking. Who knows, you might not make complete asshohles of yourselves next time.
We all wish Mavs' star Dirk Nowitzki was blessed with more of a mean streak. But the unprovoked attack on his character last night by TNT's Three Stooges - Barkley, Smith and Webber - was assinine. More importantly, it was wrong.
Before Game 2 Dirk was asked how the Nuggets tried to defend him with different looks. His seemingly straightforward, mundane answer:
"I think Birdman (Chris Andersen) does a good job because he's so long, he can contest my shot. And K-Mart (Kenyon Martin) and Nene are stronger and try to body me more. And Birdman is just long and even when I want to shoot it he can contest it. They have three very good defenders in the post position."
Note: Never ever never did Dirk say he was being stopped. Nor did he admit any of the three defenders were frustrating him or forcing him to change his Hall of Fame game.
But, alas, that didn't stop the desk full of doofuses from hearing what they wanted to hear, then saying what shouldn't have been said.
Webber claimed Nowitzki's answer revealed that Dirk wasn't a "true warrior" or a "true dog", whatever the hell that is.
"Dirk's throwing a rose petal. I'm just shocked."
Barkley chimed in with further pretzel-twisting, saying " ... if a guy says he can stop you, it should piss you off." Who said they could stop whom again?
And then there was the Smith, the most literate of the tool-shed trio but a guy obviously being dumbed down by his environment:
"Wow, I never heard a great scorer say somebody can guard him."
No, NO. NOOO!
Again, did they hear an interview I didn't hear?
Mercifully, host Ernie Johnson tried to steer the Stooges back on track.
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"But I didn't hear Dirk say those guys can can guard him," he exclaimed.
Eventually Smith mellowed on his stance. But Barkley and Webber were too obsessed being "true dogs" to admit their gross (perhaps malicious?) misinterpretation. Or maybe they were too busy comaring championship rings to take time to actually listen to Dirk's words.
Oh, that's right. They have as many championships as they have brains: Zero.