Charles Barkley isn't afraid to speak his mind, even when it comes to a man sticking his penis into another man's holiest of holies. So it didn't exactly shock me when Sir Charles came out in support of gay marriage.

"I think if they want to get married, God bless them. Gay marriage is probably 1 percent of the population, so it's not like it's going to be an epidemic. Hey, trust me, I'm never going to kiss you and say, 'Chris, you're sexy.'"
Is it just me, or do Chuck's words come off as slightly patronizing? I know that the Great Homo Epidemic is a secret fear that keeps heterosexual men awake at night, and I personally spend a minimum of two hours every day surfing the Web for nude pictures of Paris Hilton as a means of inoculating myself. But c'mon Charles, do you really need to qualify your support of gay marriage by assuring people you aren't going to catch an incurable case of gaybies? And I'd like to know where he got that "1 percent of the population" statistic. Maybe he'll explain it in his next book...

Sir Charles
The answer to the question is: I'm
afraid, Mr. Barkley. Very, very afraid.

Buh-bye Paul; don't forget to write: In other news, Paul Shirley has discontinued his blog on ESPN.com; his 40th and latest post will be his last. This might have actually disappointed me about 35 posts ago, but, frankly, I'm tired of Paul's incessant whining. Those of you who actually read his blog know what I'm talking about. Over the last few months, his blog has consisted almost solely of him telling his readers -- none of which, I'm sure, are General Managers or talent scouts -- that he's a really, really good basketball player and should be playing in the NBA right now.

Look Paul, I'm sorry nobody in the NBA wants to sign you. Get over it already. Quitting the one steady job you have to chase an impossible dream sounds like a lot of crazy to me. I mean damn, if you can't play basketball at least you could get paid to write about it. Now, I'll take all this back if you sign with some team and make a serious contribution, but I don't see it happening.

Have you seem my Dirk? First he disappeared in the NBA Finals, now he's disappearing in the FIBA World Championships. Dirk Nowitzki had a terrible game against Team USA last night, scoring 15 points on 3-of-12 shooting to go along with his 5 turnovers. Suffice to say, the German National Team got killed, 85-65. For Dirk's sake, I hope this trend doesn't continue. Of course, this is yet another good argument against all the Larry versus Dirk comparisons.

Sofoklis knows bodies: Sofoklis Schortsanitis plays for the Greek National Team, and he knows how to use his body. I need to give Schortsanitis a call, because I've been laying on the floor and flopping around all day...if only I knew how to use my body!

Gilbert's a big fat liar: Gilbert Arenas' groin is fine, but his balls have apparently come up missing. Gilbert left Team USA on August 14 supposedly due to a pulled groin muscle. Ends up he just quit because he was angry about being on the bubble and didn't want to get cut. "No joke, I felt like I was the 16th man on a 15-man roster." What's with these guys? Just because you're the star of your very own NBA team doesn't mean you automatically get to be the star of the national team. Add this to Chris Bosh bitching and moaning about playing time, and you have to ask out loud "Did Christian Laettner complain about Chris Mullin taking all his minutes in '92?" The answer is: no, he didn't. He warmed the bench, dispensed Gatorade during timeouts, and washed everyone's jockstraps in his hotel room sink. And he liked it.
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