Charles Barkley's advice was never more valid

Barkley
Barkley
Posted: February 22, 2013

IN HONOR OF his 50th birthday, which was Wednesday, we honor Charles Barkley for saying, "I'm not a role model . . . Just because I dunk a basketball doesn't mean I should raise your kids."

Chuck was right. We should not allow our kids to worship athletes and other sports figures, because we are setting them up for disappointment. Teach them right from wrong and hopefully the rest will take care of itself.

Sometimes, it's difficult. When it's a high-profile athlete who is consistently on TV commercials, magazine ads, has his own video game and is on "SportsCenter" every night, hero worship could become inevitable.

Sports figures such as Tiger Woods, Brett Favre, Michael Vick and even the late and great Joe Paterno have had their major flaws exposed, causing enormous disappointment.

But recently, two athletes who were international heroes have left parents really scrambling for explanations.

Lance Armstrong, a seven-time winner of the Tour de France and cancer survivor, finally admitted he was a steroid user, a cheat and thus a liar. He was also an intimidator of fellow riders.

And this past week, Oscar Pistorius, a double amputee who competed against able-bodied athletes in the 2012 Olympics, was charged with murdering his girlfriend. Imagine how crushed a 10-year-old kid in Pistorius' native South Africa must be feeling.

When athletes are knuckleheads, it's easier for parents to dismiss them. But when an athlete is held in high regard and falls to earth with a thud, we should heed the words of Sir Charles.

Who was that?

On Wednesday, right before "Daily News Live" was aired on Comcast SportsNet, an episode of "Celebrity Sweat" was shown. And the celeb was none other than Andrew Bynum, looking fit, trim and close-cropped. While working out in a gym in Irvine, Calif., Bynum talked about nutrition, conditioning and staying healthy.

It obviously was not shot in the past 6 months.

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