Anyone who has seen video of summer league basketball could tell that it was only a matter of time before a confrontation erupted between a player and a fan. Fans at games ring the edges of the court and often walk onto the court after big plays to celebrate, frequently making contact with the players.

Charles Barkley is back in the news again for criticizing a high-profile athlete. This time, instead of picking on LeBron James or one of the Heat's other Big Three, he's going after Tiger Woods. Barkley said he has not spoken to his former friend in nearly two years, and Woods' firing of his caddie last month put the former NBA star over the edge. "Getting rid of Steve Williams was probably the last straw for me," Barkley said Wednesday on ESPN radio in New York. Added Barkley: "I'm confused [as] to where he's going."

Former Celtics guard Nate Robinson, who played a year of football at the University of Washington before deciding to focus on basketball, might get another shot on the gridiron during the NBA lockout. On Tuesday, Robinson traded tweets with Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who had tried to recruit Robinson to USC a decade ago. Robinson, now with the Thunder, wrote to Carroll: give me a chance and I'll prove it to you. The exchange ended with Carroll writing: see you at practice at 1:30. bring your cleats.

Voters on Long Island, who already have among the highest property taxes in the nation, rejected a proposal to borrow $400 million to build a new arena for the Islanders. Despite a low turnout that would seem to offer hope if enough Islanders supporters hit the polls, the proposal was rejected handily. "I'm disappointed," said Islanders owner Charles Wang, who has hinted the team might need to relocate if voters said no. "To put it bluntly, I'm heartbroken."

Kobe Bryant reportedly is unhappy that a Turkish team is making public its negotiations with him, and he is more likely to sign a deal to play in China during the NBA lockout. However, in response to interest from NBA players, the Chinese Basketball Association is said to be planning to institute two rules that would limit an influx of Americans. Meanwhile, Bryant participated in a celebrity soccer game in Washington hosted by Mia Hamm and Nomar Garciaparra over the weekend, and we've got video.

The Cardinals traded outfielder Colby Rasmus to the Blue Jays on Wednesday, and that's fine with Rasmus' father, who tired of Cards manager Tony La Russa picking on his son. La Russa had claimed that Rasmus stopped listening to the coaches and implied he was going to his father for hitting advice. Responded Tony Rasmus, a high school coach in Alabama: "Evidently Tony has absolutely made that stuff up. He's got it on the brain. If I was working with my son I'd tell people. Tony needed pitching and wanted to force the GM into making a trade, so he belittled Colby to the fans."

Controversial Lakers star Ron Artest reportedly is considering an offer to appear on "Dancing With the Stars." Artest, who is in the process of changing his name to Metta World Peace, apparently is excited about joining the show, although the schedule might conflict with the early part of the NBA season should the work stoppage end.

Read more about that story and others, plus check out videos, trivia and more, at Thursday's Morning Mashup.

The Braves beat the Pirates 4-3 in a 19-inning classic Tuesday night, but the ending was a sour one. Former Red Sox infielder Julio Lugo sprinted home on a grounder and appeared to be tagged out by Pittsburgh catcher Michael McKenry. However, umpire Jerry Meals ruled that Lugo avoided the tag.

It was a surprise to much of the hockey world when the Flyers traded captain Mike Richards and Jeff Carter this offseason. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that it may have had more to do with the players' off-ice activities, with two unnamed ex-teammates implying Richards and Carter were partying and drinking to excess. The two refused to write their uniform numbers on a board in the locker room under a pledge to abstain from alcohol as per coach Peter Laviolette's request.

A hot rumor over the weekend was that 41-year-old Brett Favre would join the Eagles as a backup to Michael Vick. Sunday morning, this tweet appeared on Vick's account but was later removed: I would be honored to have Brett Favre as a backup. That will be amazing learning how to toy with defenses the way he did his whole career. According to The Inquirer of Philadelphia, the move is unlikely to happen, with an Eagles source referring to it as the longest of long shots.