TNT analyst Charles Barkley went off on the Knicks Monday, calling ownership a "disgrace" for raising ticket prices and then putting a damper on fans' excitement over the acquisition of Carmelo Anthony by saying, "In the history of all basketball, they may be the worst defensive team ever."

 

Meanwhile, Barkley wasn't himself during his appearance on CBS' NCAA selection show Sunday, bringing up the question of if the network is trying to tone down the act that made him so popular on NBA broadcasts.

 

ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit moved his family from Ohio to Tennessee last week, blaming the departure on some rabid Ohio State fans who apparently think the former Buckeye should never criticize the school. "Eighty to 90 percent of the Ohio State fans are great," Herbstreit told The Columbus Dispatch. "It's the vocal minority that make it rough. They probably represent only 5 to 10 percent of the fan base, but they are relentless."

 

Magic coach Stan Van Gundy, in defending suspended center Dwight Howard, on Monday criticized the NBA and David Stern, saying the commissioner doesn't "tolerate other people's opinion or free speech or anything." Stern fired back Thursday, saying he would talk to the team's owners about the coach's comments and that he does not expect Van Gundy to criticize him again. "I have a feeling that some modicum of self-restraint will cause Stan and the team for which he works to rein in his aberrant behavior," Stern said.

 

While Tom Brady was becoming a YouTube hit for his awkward dancing in Rio while wearing a boot on his surgically repaired foot, Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was a surprise participant at the University of Colorado's pro day, throwing passes to childhood friend Scotty McKnight, a Colorado receiver. Sanchez, recovering from a shoulder injury, pumped up his pal by comparing McKnight to Pats standout Wes Welker.

 

Lakers guard Ron Artest weighed in on the Heat's crying saga by saying it's OK to let out your emotions. "In my psychology sessions, I sometimes cry with my therapist," he said in an interview on NBA TV. "We cry and hug each other; hold each other and talk. I think it’s a good thing to cry and let your emotions out rather than keep it inside." Artest added that he hoped someone hugged the unidentified Heat players who cried — according to Miami coach Erik Spoelstra, who later tried to change his story — after Sunday's loss to the Bulls.

Two high school hockey coaches were suspended from their Canadian team for deliberately losing a game — pulling their goalie when up by a goal — to avoid having to play a tougher team in the next round of a tournament, creating a debate about the purpose of youth sports.

 

Tears were shed in the Heat locker room Sunday after another disappointing loss, according to Miami coach Erik Spoelstra. "This is painful for every single one of us to go through this, there are couple of guys crying in the locker room right now, it is not a matter of want," Spoelstra said after his team's 87-86 home loss to the Bulls, which featured LeBron James again missing a potential game-winning shot.

 

Chris Nowinski, a formal Harvard football player and professional wrestler who now serves as president of the Sports Legacy Institute and co-director of Boston University's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, joined the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning to talk about problems with concussions in sports and their long-term effects.

 

A few high school sports stories headline Friday's Morning Mashup. In Michigan, a basketball player collapsed and died after celebrating his game-winning shot that capped an undefeated regular season. In New York, Manny Ramirez' former high school coach is planning legal action after being suspended for the season for violating the league's prohibition on recruiting. In Southern California, two girls are set to become the first females to start against each other on the mound in a high school varsity baseball game.

Longtime NHL tough guy Bob Probert, who died last July of heart failure at the age of 45, had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), the degenerative brain disease that has afflicted a number of NFL players. Boston University's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy made the diagnosis this week after examining Probert's brain tissue. "In my heart of hearts, I don’t believe fighting is what did this to Bob," Probert's widow, Dani, told The New York Times. "It was hockey — all the checking and hits, things like that."