TNT commentator Charles Barkley really mangled the pronunciation of a player’s name during a recent broadcast. He tried to say “Jonas Valanciunas,” which Barkley seems to think is pronounced “Jonas Valanblabbityblanas.” [Image via Gallery 2 Images/Flickr]
Barkley’s brilliant fail happened last week during a live broadcast of TNT’s Inside the NBA in which he tried to praise his favorite member of the Toronto Raptors but his usual level of inarticulateness just got in the way. Of course, this isn’t the first time his inability to wire his brain to his mouth has got him in trouble on the air or in the studio. He famously read “I’m a dumbass” off a teleprompter after one of his co-anchors altered the script for a halftime T-Mobile spot. He once had trouble figuring out the correct pronunciation of Hakeem Olajuwon’s first name. He even had trouble saying “WiFi” because he added about four extra, unnecessary “e’s” to the word.
Don’t feel bad, Barkley. You weren’t the only sports broadcaster to fall under the “fail” banner tag this week. Poor Bob Costas–in Sochi reporting on the 2014 Winter Olympics–has to deal with what appears to be an infected eye that’s trying to crawl out of his skull. Of course, he can still read words and pronounce them correctly with his unusually high level of gravitas, which makes him all the more amazing. Barkley has mangled so many names in his time that it must be a rite of passage for NBA athletes.