Dwight Gooden said that during a recent taping of the reality TV show "Celebrity Rehab," former Mets teammate Lenny Dykstra made a surprise appearance in Gooden's room and tried to get talk him into leaving the facility.

NBA legend Charles Barkley continues to hog the spotlight with his inflammatory words and actions. The TNT analyst gave taunting Miami fans a double-middle-finger salute Sunday, and then he offered this comeback: "They were telling me I suck. They were telling me I never won a championship. Like, 'Come on, give me something better than that, dude.' I always laugh at that statement, 'You didn't get a ring.' I'm like, 'Dude, you work at McDonald's. My life's a lot better than yours. You relax.' "

Bulls center Joakim Noah apologized after apparently using a gay slur toward a fan in the first quarter of the Bulls' 96-85 loss to the Heat in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals Sunday night in Miami. Noah had just picked up his second foul and shouted at the fan after sitting on the bench. "I apologize," Noah said. "The fan said something to me that I thought was disrespectful, and I got caught up in the moment, and I said some things that I shouldn't have said. I was frustrated and I don't mean no disrespect to anybody.

Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier apologized for making an obscene gesture at photographers during batting practice Monday. Ethier, who has been known to lose his cool, said he was annoyed with the constant coverage.

Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar does not have a statue in front of the Staples Center, and he's not happy about it. "I don't understand [it]," he told the Sporting News. It's either an oversight or they're taking me for granted. I'm not going to try to read people's minds, but it doesn't make me happy. It's definitely a slight. I feel slighted."

TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley said he admired LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh but called the Heat "a whiny bunch" in reference to the players getting defensive about criticism. During an appearance on "The Waddle & Silvy Show" on Chicago radio, Barkley said: "[They say] we don't like the Miami Heat. First of all, that's not true at all. Those guys are actually a whiny bunch. They said a couple of times this year, 'Well the world is happy the Miami Heat [is losing].' Please don't flatter yourself. C'mon man."

Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, who left an NFL analyst job with ESPN in 2003 after saying that Donovan McNabb was overrated because the media was "very desirous that a black quarterback do well," came to the defense of the Redskins quarterback this month. Boxer Bernard Hopkins had criticized McNabb for failing to win a title with the Eagles and implied McNabb wasn't considered a true black man because he had a privileged upbringing.

While ESPN personalities continue to find trouble — NHL analyst Matthew Barnaby was arrested over the weekend after a dispute with his estranged wife — a publisher is keeping details of a tell-all book about the network a secret. The book, about the behind-the-scenes happening at ESPN since its inception, is due to be released May 24, and one of the authors gives some clues as to what's inside.

Toronto broadcaster Damian Goddard was fired by Rogers Sportsnet Wednesday after tweeting his opinion on same-sex marriage. The studio host wrote that he backed hockey agent Todd Reynolds, who had criticized Rangers forward Sean Avery for publicly supporting the cause. "I completely and whole-heartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage," Goddard wrote.

Former sports writer and frequent ESPN guest Jay Mariotti pleaded not guilty Wednesday to three felonies, including stalking, after allegedly confronting his former girlfriend the same day a court ordered him to stay away from her. Mariotti had pleaded no contest to one count of misdemeanor domestic violence on Sept. 30, and then he confronted the woman at a restaurant that same day. He also allegedly argued with her at a restaurant April 15, pulling out a chunk of her hair and grabbing her cell phone.