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I May be Wrong but I Doubt it


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About the Author

Charles Barkley is a studio analyst for TNT's Inside the NBA, a regular contributor to CNN's TalkBack Live and a frequent color commentator. Named one of the fifty greatest NBA players of all time, he was selected to eleven All-Star teams and won the NBA's MVP award in 1993. He lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Michael Wilbon is a Washington Post sports columnist and the cohost, with Tony Kornheiser, of the ESPN show Pardon the Interruption. He lives outside Washington, D.C.


Barkley was named one of the top 50 players in NBA history and, since recently retiring, has served as a popular studio analyst for TNT's basketball coverage. This, however, is not a basketball book per se. Instead, in the guise of a memoir, it is a series of riffs and rants on a variety of topics by a man who sometimes talks about going into politics. At times, the subject matter is repetitive, and occasionally Barkley's arguments can be self-contradictory. More often, though, the observations are dead-on. For example, on the subject of the "keepin' it real" attitude of athletes who have struck it rich but continue self-consciously to keep the trappings of poverty, Barkely feels that nothing could be phonier or more self-destructive. Noted sports writer Wilbon edited the book, but the tone is clearly and happily all Sir Charles. The outspoken Barkley has always been an intelligent and provocative guy who can be entertaining while also having something worthwhile to say. His book is no different. Recommended for public libraries.-John Maxymuk, Rutgers Univ. Lib., Camden, NJ Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

NBA star Barkley-still only the second basketball player in history, along with Wilt Chamberlain, to total more than 23,000 points, 12,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists-has refused to go quietly into the mists of sports legends. One of the most controversial professional athletes in any sport, Barkley has repositioned himself as an outspoken and provocative sports commentator for the TNT network, reaping a new and large viewing audience in the process. This sports memoir-Barkley's first-is a highly entertaining and remarkably thoughtful work that successfully continues his ongoing repositioning from on-court wild man to provocative analyst. "I'm trying to transition from sports into something broader, with wider social implications," he writes. In a book that often reads like an overlong Sports Illustrated interview, Barkley explores a wide range of interests. Each chapter has a theme, and Barkley has no problem speaking his mind on any topic, whether it is politics ("Poor white people and poor black people just don't know how much they have in common. Rich people don't give a damn about either group") or lack of minority control in sports ("Black people ought to want other black people to be successful and work hard and accumulate some wealth and build a new damn reality"). In between these chapters are other sections that retell some of the great and not-so-great moments in his career, such as his involvement with Michael Jordan in the U.S. Olympic medal-winning "Dream Team." But transitions within and between chapters can often be jarring (in one chapter he suddenly launches into a criticism of abusive priests). Despite that, this is a very entertaining look at one of the most intelligent minds in pro sports, and like Barkley's career, it's bound to produce fierce arguments. (Oct.) Forecast: A major media push, along with Barkley's comfortable media presence, should make this a strong seller. And the book's forays into nonathletic commentary will assure a popularity beyond sports fans. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

"Charles Barkley always makes me laugh, and he always makes me think. He hasn't held anything back in his book -- if anything, this is the most personal I've ever seen him. The only whopper is the title: when has Barkley ever admitted to being wrong?"
-- Tiger Woods

"Whether you think he's wrong or right, you'll never find Charles Barkley dull, evasive or afraid. He's blunt, honest and funny as hell, a man with strong convictions and a determination to express them without fear of offending the sensibilities of more timid souls. He's got guts, and there's as much to admire in this book as there is in the man. In I May Be Wrong, But I Doubt It, Barkley refers to one of my campaigns as a rough experience. It might have been, but at least I never had to post up against Sir Charles. Now that would have been really hard."
-- Senator John McCain
"I find Charles to be great company on the golf course. Of course, he has never been shy about his opinions, and he has not changed for this book! Charles addresses issues that are important to all of us, not just people close to the game of basketball. Frank, funny and provocative, this is a book that will stir people to think."
-- Dean Smith

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