Charles Barkley receives Lew Klein Excellence in the Media Award

Barkley says he "gets paid to watch basketball," and he "tries to make it fun."

Steve Tawa
October 05, 2018 - 4:26 pm
Charles Barkley

Steve Tawa | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- At Temple University, this year's Lew Klein Excellence in the Media Award goes to a well-known figure in Philadelphia, Charles Barkley.

The NBA Hall-of-Famer, Emmy-winning broadcaster, social commentator and author is predisposed to speak his mind, whether it was on the court, now in the booth at courtside, or wading into current affairs. Up on stage, he recounted the three B's of speeches.

"I got this," he said. "Be brief, brother."

Barkley says he "gets paid to watch basketball," and he "tries to make it fun."

"Because it's not that important in the big scheme," he said. "Also, you all are very welcome for me getting you all out of sitting there watching that judicial crap on TV today."

The dean of the Klein College, David Boardman, says Barkley "is not only a keen analyst of basketball, he is an important and influential voice in American culture." 

"He stands out in an era where everyone is bandying about fake news," Boardman said.

Boardman calls Barkley "the genuine article."

"Somebody who tells it like it is, speaks from the heart," he said, "and really represents honesty and integrity in media."

Barkley's NBA career began with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1984. The 11-time All Star was elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Six other alumni were also singled out, named in honor of broadcasting pioneer Lew Klein:

  • Marsha Cooke, KLN '87, senior vice president content strategy, VICE Media 
  • Jim Gallagher, KLN '78, retired, former vice president and general manager, Comcast Spotlight 
  • David Maialetti, KLN '89, staff photographer, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News
  • Tifani Roberts, KLN '91, journalist, Univision
  • Fred Stein, KLN '72, senior partner, The Creative Group
  • Will Yip, KLN '08, president, Black Cement Records and partner, Studio 4 Recording

Past Excellence in the Media recipients including Tina Fey, Robin Roberts, Dean Baquet, Anderson Cooper, Whoopi Goldberg and Wolf Blitzer.