Charles Barkley takes up Bettman's invitation to Cup Final

Laura Christensen
June 9, 2017

Even Charles Barkley verified this notion when he went to Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals Monday night.

"Wayne, I just always wondered, who's your favourite black athlete of all-time?" joked Barkley.

In typical Gretzky fashion, The Great One didn't miss a beat and said, "Grant Fuhr", the goaltender on that '84-85 Oilers roster and one of the greatest goalies in the history of the National Hockey League.

National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman insisted the NBA Hall of Famer attend a game in Nashville after Barkley has persistently announced his love for the National Hockey League and even referring to the Stanley Cup Playoffs as "the best thing in sports". What's next? Barkley in ice skates and learning how to handle the puck?

Judging from how the NBA Finals has been through two games, Barkley is watching the right sport.

Maybe his next hot take won't be about basketball.

"That was quick", Barkley said. Roenick and Barkley are neighbors in Arizona.

And really, the entire spring has been far from a display of parity on the National Basketball Association side, as the two teams meeting in the Finals entered the series having won 24 of their first 25 games in the playoffs.

Barkley attended Monday's game at Bridgestone Arena as a guest of National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman. Barkley said he has attended a number of Stanley Cup playoff games over the years in Chicago.

"We probably should pay more attention to the regular season, but there is nothing more nerve-wracking than Stanley Cup overtime hockey", Barkley said. "It's the craziest thing you're ever going to see, so that's one reason I just love the sport". "But great teams, multiple championships, I put them on a pedestal", said Barkley. He continued to follow the game when he played for the Philadelphia 76ers and during his time there he became friendly with feisty Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall.

Bridgestone Arena hosted Game Four of the Stanley Cup Finals between Nashville Predators and Pittsburgh Penguins. "And so it's not been a lot of fun broadcasting games this year". "The best thing about my job is when I'm in work for two straight months like the NHL playoffs, I'm in a room with 20 televisions and I watched pretty much every single hockey game".

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