NBA Hall of Famer and current basketball analyst Charles Barkley took aim at the tax reform bill passed by Republicans during Thursday night’s airing of “Inside the NBA” on TNT.
Speaking to co-hosts Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kenny Smith, Barkley said, “Thank you, Republicans. I know I can always count on y'all to take care of us rich people, us one-percenters.”
Mocking the idea that the tax cut would help the economy, Barkley continued, “They say it’s gonna trickle down. I’m gonna trickle my fat a** down to the jewelry store and get me a new Rolex. I’m not gonna pass it to nobody.”
Barkley has never been one to shy away from controversy, either during his playing career or after. His brash image as a player led him to once defend his “bad boy” public image in a series of commercials that proclaimed, “I am not a role model. I do not get paid to be a role model. I get paid to dunk a basketball.”
In the later stages of his career, he was arrested for throwing a bar patron through a plate glass window after the patron allegedly threw ice at him.
Since his playing career has ended, Barkley has reinvented himself as a comedic and jovial figure on TNT's regular NBA analysis panel during “Inside the NBA” and as a halftime commentator for TNT’s weekly NBA broadcasts.
Barkley, who is originally from Alabama and played college basketball at Auburn, has also become more involved in politics as he has gotten older. In 2008, he announced that he would run for governor of Alabama in 2014, but he later changed his mind.
He was a vocal critic of Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore and regularly appeared at campaign stops with Democratic candidate Doug Jones during the hotly contested campaign for the special election to fill the seat vacated by Jeff Sessions, who accepted a job as President Donald Trump’s attorney general.