Retired All-Pro safety Lawyer Milloy wasn’t the only special guest to stop by Patriots practice during Super Bowl week.
Eleven-time NBA All-Star Charles Barkley revealed on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Tuesday night that coach Bill Belichick extended an invitation to him as well. Barkley — who currently works as a basketball analyst for TNT, which is headquartered in Atlanta — accepted and visited one of New England’s four sessions at Georgia Tech that week.
While there, Barkley said he hung out with Belichick, team owner Robert Kraft, and Belichick’s right-hand man, Berj Najarian. Though their friendship dates back to when Belichick was coaching the Cleveland Browns in the early ’90s, nothing seemingly could have prepared Barkley for the moment he came face to face with quarterback Tom Brady.
“I made a mistake, Jimmy,” Barkley told host Jimmy Kimmel. “I looked Tom Brady in the eyes. … I looked him in the eyes, and I said, ‘Damn, you’re a pretty man.’ That’s what I was thinking to myself. I got so embarrassed I started turning my head to talk to him. [Barkley looks to the side.] Like, I was like, ‘Hey Tom, it’s good to see you, man. I haven’t seen you in a while.'”
Swooning in his chair, Barkley joked Brady is able to rack up so many touchdowns because opposing defenses “get mesmerized” from looking at his eyes.
“That Tom Brady, he’s a pretty man, y’all,” he repeated. “He’s a nice guy, too, but I can’t look him in the eyes.”
But Brady’s charmingly captivating looks weren’t enough to convince Barkley to bet on Patriots in Sunday’s big game. The known gambler said he picked the Los Angeles Rams against the spread.
“That was just stupid,” he admitted. “That was just stupid on my part.”
Before he and Kimmel discussed his TNT gig and topics surrounding the NBA, Barkley had nothing but praise for Belichick, calling him “a really great guy.” The feelings are by no means one-sided, as Belichick, too, gushed over Barkley during Super Bowl LIII Opening Night, calling him “one of most impressive people [he’s] ever met.”
“I love Charles Barkley,” Belichick said. “To lead the league in rebounding at 6-foot-4, to me, is incredible. His toughness, his playing — not just skill, but I’d say his awareness and instinctiveness — he does a great job. I love to listen to his analysis. I’ve learned a lot from him. Charles has been a great friend. Conversations have always been enlightening to me. He knows how to compete, he knows how to win, and he just knows how to play.”
As for what position Barkley would play in the NFL?
“Tight end,” Belichick said, with no hesitation.