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About (Late) Last Night: Charles Barkley elbows Obama with words on 'Conan'

December 1, 2010 |  7:05 am

Loudmouth ex-NBA star and current commentator Charles Barkley chatted with Conan O'Brien on Tuesday night, throwing another elbow in President Obama's direction. This one was more figurative and hit the commander in chief where it hurts: his basketball pride.

In discussing Obama's style of play, Barkley brushed off the president as a challenger. "He is a one-handed basketball player," said Barkley. Asked about a one-on-one match-up, Barkley was incredulous: "I'm an old fat guy now, but I'd kick his ass," he said.

O'Brien was asking, of course, because the president was hit with an elbow, requiring twelve stitches, while playing over the Thanksgiving weekend. "I would be so terrified of that exact scenario," Barkley said.

"So you think if you played with President Obama, you might forget he's the leader of the free world and throw an elbow in his face, is that what you're saying?" O'Brien asked.

"I would definitely do that," Barkley said.

Alas, despite their longstanding friendship, the two have not met on the court. "Since he's been president, he's been a little busy fighting off these Republicans and these 'tea party' nitwits," said Barkley, always a rabble-rouser.

Barkley also took the opportunity to tease O'Brien, welcoming him to the Turner Broadcasting family. "Unfortunately, you got all the money, so we got screwed," said Barkley, who works as a basketball analyst on TBS' sister network, TNT.

Barkley was not immune from his own teasing. After O'Brien complimented him on his weight loss, Barkley turned on himself: "I wish somebody would have told me I was fat sooner," he said. "I think 'cause I always pay all the bills when my friends go out to eat and drink, and I think they didn't want to insult me. But I was really fat." Now, for a former power forward, he's relatively svelte, but still funny as ever.

-- Joe Coscarelli