The Predators home playoff games have been a cavalcade of star power, with celebrities like Kelly Clarkson, Dierks Bentley and Trisha Yearwood singing the anthem, Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman just hanging out, Carrie Underwood doing both, and various Tennessee Titans abusing sea life, beer and each other on their way to the Stanley Cup final.
Now we can add one Charles Barkley to the list. Before the game, he crashed Wayne Gretzky and Paul Coffey’s press conference to talk about his love for the game. And at tonight’s NBC intermission show during Game 4, the NBA Hall of Famer and enormous hockey fan had the Islanders on his mind.
Here’s Chuck on with Liam McHugh and Mike Milbury at the second intermission. At about the 1:30 mark, Sir Charles talks about recently watching Big Shot, the ESPN 30-for-30 documentary directed by Kevin Connolly about the bizarre ownership saga of John Spano.
I was telling Mike, I don’t know him well. But I was watching the 30-for-30 on Spano, like, three days ago. And... maybe the greatest hockey story ever. Everybody should go out and watch that 30-for-30. That was one of the most amazing and crazy things that ever happened in sports.
Barkley, as usual, is one hundred percent correct. Islanders fans have lived with the still-unbelievable Spano saga as part of the team’s history for two decades now. Big Shot was not only a fun ride through an surreal time period, but it was made with a ton of love for the franchise by Connolly, a die hard Islanders fan who referenced the team all throughout his time on Entourage and can be seen at Barclays Center when he’s in New York.
Living down to his reputation as the NHL’s Black Hole of Fun, Milbury immediately derailed Barkley’s enthusiasm by asking him about his buddy, Jeremy Roenick doing stunts like catching catfish and alligators. It’s unclear why Milbury wouldn’t want to talk all the time about Big Shot, a movie in which his basically plays the same role as Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight and gets to tell the story about the time Spano invited him to an orgy at the Garden City Hotel.
But once again, Barkley rode to the segment’s rescue, saying he was hoping to see a video in which Roenick was eaten by a gator. Us, too, Charles.
It took us nine months, dozens of games and one Round Mound of Rebound to finally get an interesting intermission show during an NHL on NBC Game. Miracles can happen.