Getting a great quote from an athlete can be an exhilarating experience. You’re pressing a recorder into their faces as close as possible while trying your best not to get called out for invading their personal space. Unfortunately, great quotes come by only once in a while. Sometimes you don’t ask the right questions, other times you do but the player isn’t interested in engaging in the topic, most often you just get the same stock answers that can be plugged into whatever article you’re writing.
Thankfully, the NBA season runs pretty long and there are enough media sessions on a day-to-day basis that give birth to wonderful quotes that make you laugh, shake your head, think, but mostly the first two things.
The following list is in no particular order.
1. Charles Barkley – “I can be bought. If they paid me enough, I’d work for the Klan.”
2. Jason Kidd, upon being drafted by the 13-win Mavericks: “We’re going to turn this team around 360 degrees.”
3. When asked why he takes so many threes, Antoine Walker said: “because there are no fours.”
4. Reporter – “Shaq we’re live” and Shaq’s response “I don’t give a shit”
5. Charles Barkley -“We’re just playing basketball. It’s not like we’re going out to have unprotected sex with Magic.”
6. Charles Barkley on his recruitment to Auburn – “When I was recruited at Auburn [university], they took me to a strip joint. When I saw those titties on Buffy, I knew that Auburn met my academic requirements.”
7. Scottie Pippen to Karl Malone after the 1st game of the 97 NBA Finals – “Mailman don’t deliver on Sundays”
8. Matt Barnes – “Violence is never the answer, but sometimes it is”
9. Larry Legend – “As far as playing, I didn’t care who guarded me — red, yellow, black. I just didn’t want a white guy guarding me. Because it’s disrespect to my game.”
10. Charles Barkley After an Olympic Dream Team victory over Angola, in which they won 116-48, Charles got into a physical altercation with a member of Angola towards the end of the game, afterward, he says: “Somebody hits me, I’m going to hit him back. Even if it does look like he hasn’t eaten in a couple of weeks. I thought he was going to pull a spear on me.”
11. Wilt Chamberlain: “Just remember Michael, when you played, they changed the rules to make it easier for you to dominate when I played, they changed the rules to make it harder for me”
12. Bird after walking into the all-star game skills competition locker room before coming in 1st place a couple of hours later – “which one of you motherfuckers is coming in 2nd?”
13. MJ to Muggsy bogues “Shoot it, you fucking midget”
14. Allen Iverson – “I would never lift weights, and train and stuff like that because s**t was too heavy”
15. “Those fucking balloons are staying up there!” -Bill Russell to Jerry West during Game 7 of the 1969 NBA Finals, when Russell saw that balloons celebrating the World Champion Lakers were suspended from the rafters.