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AMERICAN CENTURY CHAMPIONSHIP MEDIA DAY
June 9, 2011
STEVE GRIFFITH: Hi, everyone, thanks for joining, Charles, Shane, and Trent are on the line with us now, so we'll get right to the media questions. As everyone knows, all three are competing in the American Century Championship next month in Lake Tahoe. So we're looking forward to talking about that today, but we also understand that you may have some other questions, and we're happy to entertain those also.
Trent, you're at Edgewood, Tahoe right now, and you're going to play golf with the media today. How's the weather and what's it feel like to be back on the course?
TRENT DILFER: I don't know if there's a more beautiful place on the planet. I'm sitting here staring out at the beautiful lake with the snow-capped mountains and a beautiful golf course behind me. I think that's one of the things that makes the American Century Championship so special is the venue.
Edgewood does a great job hosting, NBC, American Century, obviously do an incredible job. I get exhilarated just coming up here. I love golf, I love competing, and I love this place.
I'm excited to go out there and slap it around today, and look at some of the changes on the golf course, and talk to the media about the golf. I'm fired up, man. It takes me a lot to get fired up in June, but this definitely does it.
Q. Charles, I wanted to get your thoughts on how LeBron James has struggled in the NBA Finals so far?
CHARLES BARKLEY: Well, people are overreacting to that one game, to be honest with you. I mean, he played similar in Game 3 and almost had a triple-double and they won and nobody said anything. I think people are being a little bit unfair to LeBron right now. There is a lot of LeBron hating going on right now.
I think there are two things that are happening. Number one, I think that LeBron, people are always trying to compare him to Michael Jordan. I think that's a little unfair. I don't think he has the killer, try to kill at all costs mentality. I think he's more like Magic Johnson. He's more of a facilitator. When he's got the ball, he wants to pass the ball first.
Michael Jordan, he wanted to kill you. I don't think that's LeBron's personality. I think sometimes when Dwyane gets going, he becomes a little passive.
But I think a lot of the criticism is a little bit unfair. If they had made one or two plays here and there and they'd be up 3-1. But LeBron's never going to have Michael Jordan's personality where he wants to kill or the other guy's got to die. You know, he's just a really good kid who is a great basketball player, but he doesn't have that kill-at-all-costs mentality. He's more like Magic Johnson as far as he's a lot more versatile. He wants to pass. He probably would rather pass the ball than score.
I think a lot of the stuff that's been a little bit unfair and really overblown, truly overblown.
Q. Charles, with the 76ers possibly being sold right now, I wanted to get your reaction on that. I wanted to get your reaction on your team and ask you have you ever been asked to be a part of any ownership group as well?
CHARLES BARKLEY: I have, but I haven't found one that I wanted to do. Listen, I don't think it matters who owns the team. I really think it's been a little bit -- living in Philly, it has been a little bit overblown. I mean, nobody cares who owns the team, to be honest with you. It's about the coaches and the players.
They did a fantastic job this year. The Sixers are going in the right direction. People just have to be patient. You can ask Shane. I don't think he really cares who owns he -- he's in Memphis now -- but I don't think he really cares who owns the team.
You want your team to be good. Like I said, the Sixers are on the right path. You just have to be patient. But I think it's no big deal who owns the team.
STEVE GRIFFITH: Shane, can you weigh in on that?
SHANE BATTIER: I agree with Charles. The only thing that matters is what happens on the court. You want an owner that supports you and gives you the tools that you need to compete. But at the end of the day it's about the coaches and the GM and the kind of product they put on the floor. As a free agent, I'd say that with an asterisk.
I love the owners and I'd love to play for any of the owners out there (laughing).
Q. I've been covering this tournament since '92, and when I think of the face of the tournament, it's Charles Barkley and Rick Rhoden. I just wanted to ask you, Chuck, why do you like coming to Tahoe so much? And can you tell me about spending time at Harrah's Center Stage with Arty the Party? Why do you like to go visit Arty the Party?
CHARLES BARKLEY: Well, as far as Arty, everybody thinks they can sing. There's not a jock alive who doesn't want to play an instrument or who thinks they can sing. So I think that's the reason we love.
Seeing all these guys try to sing every night is one of the highlights of my -- it's unbelievable to see these guys try to sing. It's hilarious. Arty does a great job. He has a great selection. But to me that's one of the highlights of the trip watching these great athletes try to sing.
You know, the people of Lake Tahoe just roll out the red carpet for the tournament. Even though I'm not very good at golf, they're out there cheering me on, telling me to hang in there. I find that really cool.
I mean, clearly, I know I'm not very good at golf, but to have a few hundred people in your group in your gallery wishing you the best, telling you to hang in there and keep trying is pretty cool. I've probably never met a blackjack table I didn't like either so that probably doesn't hurt.
Q. I was just wondering now with Shaq being retired, where do you feel he falls on the list of the greatest centers, and how would you feel about working with him over at TNT?
CHARLES BARKLEY: Well, he's the fourth greatest center in NBA history. The thing that's funny is I don't even think, to be honest with you, no matter how well he played, he can't get to those top three. I mean, Wilt, Kareem, and Bill Russell, I don't think anybody can break into that group.
But Shaquille to me is the fourth greatest center of all time. I've got to tell you, I played in the NBA for 16 years and Shaq is the only guy who I ever met that I said, man, that's a big dude.
But I tell you the one thing that I will say. We want him at TNT. It would be an honor and a pleasure to work with him. I welcome him to TNT with open arms. It would be great because we know each other really, really well.
But I want to tell you the most amazing thing about Shaquille O'Neal -- and Shane can attest to this a little bit playing with Yao Ming who, unfortunately, got so many injuries with his feet. You look at Greg Oden, you look at Bill Walton, you look at Sam Bowie, for Shaquille O'Neal to be as big as he was and to really not get hurt until he was past his prime, I think that's one of the more remarkable things that I've ever seen to be honest with you.
That dude is huge, man. That dude is huge. For him to be able to never get hurt, basically as big as he was, that, to me, is probably his enduring legacy.
Q. I wondered what your thoughts are on Jimmer Fredette as a potential NBA player? Do you think he's going to make it at the next level?
CHARLES BARKLEY: Well, I'm pulling for him. I got a chance to meet him at the Final Four. He's one of those kids you pull for. I think the question is going to be, number one, clearly he's got to play the point. It's going to be a transition for him.
I think the biggest question is are they going to try to make him a point or bring him off the bench for instant offense? I think that's really the only question. Because you see a guy who is a terrific player like Westbrook, you know, it's not easy to play the point. It's not as easy as people try to make it out to be. I honestly think it's one of the most important positions on the team. The reason it is is you have to get the ball to the other players. The point guard has the ball on most teams probably 80 to 90% of the time.
So the biggest question with Jimmer is going to be are they going to try to teach him to be a point guard or are they going to bring him off the bench for instant offense? I don't think he's big enough to play the two, because he can't guard the two guards in the NBA.
But I really route for him because he seems like a great kid. But like I said, you have to answer that question first. What position or is he coming on off the bench and they're going to teach him how to play the point.
Q. If Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks go on to lose the finals, has Dirk still gone a long way with his postseason and kind of changing the way people look at his career?
CHARLES BARKLEY: Well, it depends. Anybody who didn't think he was one of the greatest players all time was an idiot. But unfortunately I've been very torn for this series, to be honest with you, because Dirk and Jason and LeBron are really the three guys that have something to lose. Because the loser of this series is still going to be on that list that I'm on, and I always feel bad for those guys.
Listen, Dirk is one of the greatest players. He already was before this year. But unless he wins a championship, he's going to be on the same list with me. And until LeBron wins, he's going to be on the list with me. These guys are both -- Jason Kidd also -- all three of these guys are Hall of Famers; they're legends. But until you win a championship, you got to stay on the list with me and Carl and Patrick Ewing and John Stockton, all those guys. That's just the way it is.
Q. You have alluded to the fact that you've considered maybe being an owner. Under what circumstances -- what would be the right circumstances for you to get involved in a team, and how do you see yourself being as an owner?
CHARLES BARKLEY: Well, I might do it just as an investment, to be honest with you. I don't think that I -- well, I don't have enough money to do like a Michael and just take complete control of an organization. I don't have that type of money.
But it would be fun to like whether it was in Philadelphia or Phoenix, to put a few million dollars in and be not a speaking owner, but just a fun, good investment. But I don't have enough money to buy my own team. I don't have that type of cash.
Maybe after I win Lake Tahoe, if I put money on myself and I win, you never know.
Q. That's 500-1.
CHARLES BARKLEY: 500-1. So if I put down a million dollars, I think I can make this thing work.
Q. But then you have to win too.
CHARLES BARKLEY: I know, but you never know. Listen, I'm close. I'm close.
Q. I wanted to ask you your thoughts on this week's announcement that Mark Jackson will be taking over the Warriors, and I also wanted to ask you about your current golf index and what you're hoping to shoot out here at the Century?
CHARLES BARKLEY: Well, I'm pulling for Mark. Mark is a really good friend of mine. I think it's great for Mark that Jerry West signed off on the deal. I think that's the first smart thing they did out there in years with Jerry West on board.
I have great admiration and respect for Jerry West. He's the best. It's about time you all got some legitimate out there with that bonehead organization you all have had. He had to sign off, probably, on the Mark Jackson thing.
But the key for Mark is going to be to get good players and good assistant coaches. He wanted to coach. I'm really pulling for him. But this game is about -- it ain't about X's and O's, it's good Jims and Joes. He's got to get some good players.
Clearly the Warriors have a good team, but I'm really going to be rooting for the Golden State Warriors because Mark Jackson is a good friend of mine. But if I'm a Golden State Warriors fan, I have to be encouraged that Jerry West didn't have any objections to Mark Jackson being the coach.
As far as my golf, man, I don't know what to say about my golf game to be honest with you. But I'm going to have fun. There are worst things to suck at life than bad golf. I'm going to play. I'm going to have a great time.
Like Trent said, man, it's so awesome up there. American Century has done a great job supporting this tournament. But, man, Lake Tahoe to me is really the star. That is. Depending on where you're having dinner or just walking around, that is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been in my life. Lake Tahoe is really the star of that whole tournament.
You think about it. When you're walking on some of those holes, man, if you can't get excited about that, there's something wrong with you. I mean, when I'm walking up 18, 17, and 18, if you can't enjoy that -- I mean, if you can't enjoy that scenery, and if you can't enjoy the weather --
I don't play with these guys. It's a little early when I tee off. I'm playing with guys like Trent and Shane, whether it's Michael or Mario Lemieux, somebody like that. You're playing with somebody who is -- and I got to tell you something, I've never played with somebody up there who I really didn't like to play with too. I mean I played with Dennis Miller one year. It was fantastic. I played with Craig T. Nelson one year.
I mean, there are some guys that are trying to win now, but there's probably only 10 or 15 guys that can actually win the thing. The rest of the guys are just there to have fun on the great golf course and enjoy Lake Tahoe.
Q. You seem to have an amazing amount of fun Inside The NBA on TNT. I was just wondering if it's always like that? And I also had another question, I was wondering if you got new clubs for this after your thing in Alabama?
CHARLES BARKLEY: I got three new drivers in the mail a couple weeks ago. I'm trying to figure out which one to use. My driver broke, obviously, so Nike sent me three new drivers. So I'm trying to figure out if I want to play a hook or a cut or just hit a straight ball. I've got all my drivers adjusted.
When you look at that course in Lake Tahoe, I'm probably going to use the cut driver. I'm like Phil Mickelson. I always carry a couple of drivers, but up there you play a fade.
What was your second question?
Q. I was wondering is it as fun as it seems to be when you guys do the show? Because you guys crack me up throughout the whole show?
CHARLES BARKLEY: Well, the thing we try to do is we are just talking about basketball. We're not saving the world.
Q. Oh, I know that.
CHARLES BARKLEY: No, no, that's not what I mean. I think that's our number one job is to make sure the fans have a good time. I truly believe that. Like I tell people, we're not saving the world. You do know this is just basketball.
And I really think about that the day of the show. I want to make sure -- I mean, the players are clearly having a good time. They're making 10, 15, 20 million dollars a year. But the fan, I want the fan to enjoy the game. I honestly just try to make it as fun as possible to be honest with you. The answer to your question is yes. It is as much fun as you think it is.
Number one, and I'm not just blowing smoke. That's my number one priority when I go to work. I want to make sure people are watching. First of all, I can't believe these suckers are paying me to watch basketball. I'd watch the games anyway. I would watch the game anyway. I love basketball. Basketball has given me everything in my life.
I think if you asked Trent, like these suckers are paying me to watch football? The only thing I do in my house on Saturday and Sunday is sit in my movie theater and call my bookie. Because football all it's good for is to bet on. I love sports, and I can't believe they pay me to watch basketball. And that is the truth of what it is, to be honest with you.
Q. Charles, I heard the remark on the drivers. But is it true that Hank Haney is coming on out to work with you? And I've got a follow up to that?
CHARLES BARKLEY: Hank has been really pushing -- you know I've been playing lefty. I've been talking about it for years. Actually last year was the first year that I tried to play lefty. Let me tell you something, I've got a great new respect for anybody that's left-handed. Because if you can do anything left-handed, you're my new hero. It's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.
But the one thing it does, to be honest with you, I don't get nervous and afraid on my way to the golf course. When I play right-handed, clearly the hitch and everything drives me nuts. I have no idea if I'm going to top it or shank it or whatever. So I get really nervous and agitated going to the golf course. Even though I suck left-handed, it does free my mind up and I don't hitch.
Q. Are you really thinking about playing the tournament left-handed?
CHARLES BARKLEY: I am thinking about it. I mean, it's not any fun to be hitching. Like I say, it can't be worst first and foremost. It's not like I'm kicking ass right-handed. But like I said, the one thing it does, it frees my mind up to just be able to go out and play.
Like I say, I've probably only hit two or three good shots out of ten. But the number one thing it does is I don't get nervous or scared going to the golf course, so that is the only positive.
Q. What is going on between you and the Miami Heat fans? Why are they getting so upset with you?
CHARLES BARKLEY: Because I didn't pick their team to win. It's interesting how these fans think if you don't pick their team to win, you don't like their team.
First of all, I'm going to say this: I said it a thousand times. I never care who wins. I don't pull, really, I don't. I just try to do my job. I don't ever care who wins.
Like I say, in this series I'm a little torn because I route for Derrick and Jason, and I route for LeBron because they're both on the list with me right now. And it sucks to be on that list, but it is what it is.
But I picked the Mavs to win the series, and the people of Miami took it personally and started telling me I suck at everything. But I don't go overboard, man. That happens every year in the conference finals when you go on the road and you pick the other team. That is the thing you can't go crazy about.
Q. To start with, are you concerned at all about what messages sent to fans if there is a lockout this next season?
SHANE BATTIER: Of course, they make our game. Without the fans there is no NBA. So the financial issues that are being talked about and being collectively bargained are very complex. Often times you don't get a full picture of what we're trying to negotiate.
If I was a fan, I would be confused. I would be a little upset if the negotiations didn't go well. So that's why we have a responsibility to resolve this quickly and amicably and we can play NBA basketball next fall.
CHARLES BARKLEY: I'll piggyback on what Shane said. It would be devastating for football and basketball to be on strike. Because we are in the middle of a recession. The truth of the matter is you've got billionaires and millionaires fighting with each other, and I understand there are a lot of complex issues.
My only hope is David Stern, who I think is the best commissioner in sports. I trust him. But it will be devastating for football or basketball to have a lockout.
Hey, everybody knows we're in a recession the economic climate. You've got the tornados in Alabama, you've got the tornados in Missouri, the flooding in Memphis and down south. So many people are struggling. But, hey, man it's a tough call. I really hope we don't strike, but it's just tough right now.
Q. Charles, do you expect to see any change in the number of fans that come out here this year because of the NFL and the NBA lockouts or the potential?
CHARLES BARKLEY: Not at all. Not at all. First of all, I don't look at the NFL as being locked out. What I said, that's not -- and Trent can piggyback on what I say. Until guys miss games, I think it's all talk. I think as long as guys get to training camp on time -- first of all, they're all NFL players man. They're all going to be in great shape.
Will it slow the rookies? Yeah, it will probably do that. But until guys actually miss games, I don't think it's as bad as people make it out to be.
Like all this stuff, they're missing some OTA's right now. I think that's what they call them. But until guys actually miss a game, that's when I think it gets serious. That's when I think it gets serious.
TRENT DILFER: I agree with Charles. I think nothing of significance has been missed yet in the NFL. If you talk to players, even talking to coaches and management people, there's been very little impact at this point. I think if we get into middle of July and we're still locked out, I think there are going to be ramifications toward next year.
I think there will be less motivation to do a deal. The time and place is now to do a deal. If we get into July, there is a chance of missing games, and then I do believe it becomes catastrophic.
But at this point I think it's overblown. The off-season programs and players not being integrated into their systems and all that stuff. If this thing gets done in two weeks there will be little to no impact in terms of the quality on the field.
Q. What have you done with your game to try to get to the top of the leaderboard by the American Century Championships this year?
TRENT DILFER: Trying to get a new brain. You know, I've tried so hard on this thing. I've come into it so many times playing well. When you're done competing as a professional athlete, you've got to get that competitive fix somewhere. So for me, it's golf. This is kind of what you prime your game for.
I've come in here many years, I'd say six, seven, eight times playing great golf. There is really no reason why I shouldn't win. For whatever reason I haven't fought my way around the golf course, haven't handled my emotions right, the swing hasn't held up under pressure, the stroke hasn't held up, whatever it is.
I think ultimately it comes back to trying too hard. I've always been a competitors that is a grinder, tries as hard as he can. Where there is a will, there is a way type guy.
I'm learning in golf, although I've won tournaments with that mantra, it hasn't worked with this one. There's got to be a little I don't give a shit attitude when you're playing, free wheeling a little bit. At times with this format you can be aggressive and get away with it. Sometimes I'm too conservative.
More than anything else this year, my game's about the same, but it's more how I go into it (Indiscernible).
STEVE GRIFFITH: Trent is 12-1 to win, Rick Rhoden's favored at 2-1, Tony Romo 5-2, Billy Joe Toliver, the defending champion, 4-1 in the Harrah's Tahoe sports book.
Q. Now that we have LeBron and Dirk in the finals, they're arguably two of the toughest covers in the NBA. Who would you say right now is the toughest guy to guard in the national basketball association?
SHANE BATTIER: I think for my money both Dirk and LeBron are nasty. But physically LeBron puts the most pressure on you because he's 6'8, 265. He's the fastest guy on the floor and can jump the highest. He puts so much physical pressure on you that you're always in a defensive retreat mode against him. If he starts hitting a few jumpers, usually he hits those jumpers and you're in for a long night. That means he has everything working.
Physically, his skill set or his physical abilities are unmatched. So for a guy trying to defend him, you're hoping he's missing the jumpshots, and we'll settle for those. But Kobe's up there still. I'm not going to let go of Kobe. Mentally I think Kobe's still the best player in the game.
Q. Charles, I wanted to ask you, you had said you'd maybe put a few million dollars into an ownership of a team, say Phoenix or Philadelphia. Has anyone from Philadelphia ever talked to you about that?
CHARLES BARKLEY: There was a group, the last group that tried to put something together, but that deal fell through. I had some preliminary conversations with them. But I don't know anything about this new group. But there was a group a couple years ago that I had a couple preliminary discussions with. Because I live in Philadelphia during the summer. Philadelphia is a special place.
But I can tell you, it would be kind of like just for the hell of it type deal. I mean, I wouldn't -- like I said, I don't have the type of money Michael Jordan has where I could get majority ownership or make basketball decisions. It would be more of a ceremonial thing to be honest with you.
Q. Watching LeBron play in the finals right now with the best bet of the NBA, what do you see from him in the fourth quarter, and just him on offense, in general? He's not his normal scoring self it seems.
SHANE BATTIER: To piggyback on what Charles said. I think LeBron is getting undo criticism. You have two of the five best players in the NBA on the same team. One of them is going to be watching because there is only one basketball. So one of them is going to be watching. If one's not winning games, there is going to be criticism of the guy that's not having the ball in his hands at the end of the game.
So I think the criticism is a little unfounded. It's tough. Erik Spoelstra has a tough job trying to get those guys going in the fourth quarter and keep them happy with the ball in their hands. It's a tough, tough job.
I'm not overreacting to LeBron's fourth quarter performance. All he has to do is have one good fourth quarter performance in Game 4. He has the attention of the defense, no question.
The Mavericks are holding their breath hoping that LeBron doesn't go off, because he has the ability of doing what he's shown he's able to do. So it will be interesting to watch the fourth quarter of the Miami Heat offense.
Q. You've both seen LeBron in the finals. What part of his game has caught your attention? Was it passing, the role play, what has impressed you guys so far?
SHANE BATTIER: Well, what make shim different is at 6'8", he's able to see over the entire defense and he finds people. The only other player in the history of basketball that was able to do that at his size was Magic Johnson. So for that fact alone, you can talk about his physical attributes, but his vision is what separates him from most other players and makes him special.
CHARLES BARKLEY: I've got to tell you, his ability to guard Derrick Rose. Everybody knows how physically amazing his body is. Never seen anybody like that. We're always sitting around the studio trying to figure out another basketball player like that. There's never been a guy like that.
But the ability to shut down Derrick Rose and Jason Terry to me has been pretty remarkable. It's been pretty remarkable. These guys are great scorers and great players. To have a guy who is 6'8" be able to shut them down, that is pretty amazing. That's pretty amazing.
Q. What do you remember about labor issues in the NBA when you were a player, and what do you expect to happen this time around?
CHARLES BARKLEY: Well, the last time we had one, I was there. We had the shortened season. I personally think in football and basketball the owners are going for it this time. I think they're going for it. I think the players have been kicking their butts for a long time in the last couple of collective bargaining agreements.
But just from what I'm reading and how much they want back, it looks like they want to go for it this year, to be honest with you. I'm worried about football, and I'm definitely worried about basketball. I do think the owners are going for the jugular this time.
Q. Do you expect an NBA lockout next season?
CHARLES BARKLEY: I do. I do think there is going to be a lockout. I really think that. (Indiscernible) it's been a great year for the NBA, and I think it will be devastating, but I think there is going to be a lockout.
Q. Trent, if you can start on the strike stuff, the lockout stuff. What are the differences between what the NBA is dealing with and the NFL? Do you think fans are more sympathetic to one or the other just in general from each of you guys what is the difference?
TRENT DILFER: I'm pretty unfamiliar with the labor situation in the NBA. I try to only comment on things that I have any type of understanding on.
From the NFL perspective, I totally agree with Charles' last comment. We as players in both leagues have been destroying the owners in the last couple collective bargaining agreements. I can remember the late great Gene Upshaw talking about our last extension, just our minds blown that they signed the extension.
We knew at that time when it expired it was going to be a battle royale. That the owners would figure out that they've been getting beat up in these negotiations.
I totally agree with Charles. The owners are minds set on winning and winning big. Getting back their piece of the pie that they felt they gave too much to the players.
But from the players' perspective, and that is the crux of the issue, once you get somewhere, it's very hard to go backwards. The players to get this deal done are going to have to go backwards and pretty significantly. I just wish they had that perspective globally.
I've talked to some players who get it. Some really smart guys in the league that have a stake in it, but realize that our heyday in collective bargaining agreement was a few years ago, it's not now. We'll have to make more concessions to get it done. I think that has to be the theme to get a deal done.
I do not see any chance that the players win this negotiation outright. I think they can lose to a lesser degree than maybe they would have in March right about now. But no matter how you cut it, the owners are going to win this negotiation.
CHARLES BARKLEY: I agree with Trent. We have to make the best deal and that's all we can do. We beat them up pretty good the last couple of times. Players in both sports have been making arms and legs, and they've proven that they're going to make a stance. They might have to not play to get their point across.
The bottom line is players can only last so long. A player can only last for a short period of time. Those guys are billionaires. There are a few players in both sports who are going to be fine, because they've made a lot of money or they're going to make that money up when we go back to work.
But if you look at the big picture, everybody's talking about how much money Tom Brady makes and Drew Brees and LeBron James and these guys. Bottom line when you look at these teams and there are a lot more guys not making money on these teams than are making money. Those are the guys it hurts the most.
TRENT DILFER: In the NFL, it's a little bit different too that -- correct me if I'm wrong, Shane and Charles -- but the big money makers in the NBA seem to be the most influential guys on the team. In the NFL that's not the case. The most influential guys on the team are your offensive linemen, some of your secondary players, obviously the quarterback position who is a big money maker. But those are the guys with the deep influence and the guys with maybe the best perspective on this.
If they miss a check, not a couple of checks, but if they miss a check their voices will become very, very loud, and the players will cave. There is no doubt in my mind if the owners do take this into the regular season, the players will get a much worse deal than they would right now.
There will be total panic set in. The most influential guys on the teams that are not the biggest money makers, their voices will get very loud and they'll cave.
CHARLES BARKLEY: I agree, I agree.
Q. Shane and Charles, I was wondering if you guys are in Erik Spoelstra's and Rick Carlisle's shoes tonight before Game 5, what are you saying to the respective teams?
SHANE BATTIER: You're talking about Game 5 of the NBA Finals. You've played 120-something games at this point. Your message to your team is let's go out and do what we do that's been successful and got us to Game 5 of the NBA Finals.
It's a three-game series. Obviously, Game 5 is the most important out of a 7-game series. History has shown that. But we don't need to do anything out of character. We need to do what we do. We need to win the 50-50 balls, we need to win the free throw battle, we have to win the rebounding battle, and we do that and do what we have done all season long, we'll be fine.
CHARLES BARKLEY: I'm going to say this, if it's 2-2 in the finals and your coach has to say something to you, you're going to lose the game.
Listen, Shane said these guys have played 100 games and they've played this team six times. They've played this team six times, four in the finals and two in the regular season. Ain't no tricks. Ain't no tricks.
Guys got to play well, they've got to do their job. I give Rick Carlisle a lot of credit. Guys weren't doing their job, and he switched starting lineups. He benched Peja Stojakovic. You've got to play, man. Ain't no tricks right now. You're two games away from winning the Championship. There are no tricks. There are no more tricks right now. The coach ain't got to say anything.
It's just like Al Davis, Baby, just win, Baby. That's it. No excuses. Do your stuff. You've been scouting this team. No guys are coming off injured reserve, you've just got to go out and play. Don't make any mistakes, but you've got to play well.
A lot of times these guys overthink. You have to play well. A couple of those guys from the Mavericks didn't play well. I give Rick Carlisle credit. He changed his starting lineup, and Peja Stojakovic who played great for them. He said, hey, dude, you don't even have to take a shower after the game because you're not playing. That took some guts in my opinion.
But it showed you, dude, you've got to play well. There are no more tricks right now.
STEVE GRIFFITH: Charles, Shane, thank you so much for spending all this time with us. We appreciate it.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports