Except, the stunning statement didn't happen in a studio, but rather on the floor of Madison Square Garden. And it wasn't said by Barkley, but by comedian Tracy Morgan, who made the startling declaration that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was attractive.
Really, really attractive.
Here's the set-up: Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson were conducting business at MSG in advance of the Miami Heat-New York Knicks game, which TNT televised. The trio were discussing the pending NBA All-Star Game and Thursday's announcement of the Eastern and Western Conference starters, when Morgan, who stars in the NBC sitcom "30 Rock" happened by their makeshift set.
Barkley and Smith asked Morgan whom he thought merited inclusion on the All-Star roster. Then Morgan was asked to choose between Palin and Tina Fey, who created "30 Rock," and has impersonated Palin on "SNL."
That's when Morgan said that Palin, the former Republican vice presidential nominee was "good masturbation material." It may have marked one of the few times that the normally loquacious Barkley has ever been speechless.
TNT, however, recovered quickly, issuing a statement from spokesman Jeff Pomeroy that read: "It's unfortunate Mr. Morgan showed a lack of judgment on our air with his inappropriate comments."