|Thursday, November 21
Updated: November 22, 4:10 PM ET
Homonym saves Barkley from kissing Smith's backside
ESPN.com news services
Charles Barkley paid up, but it wasn't what a national TV audience expected.
Rather than planting one on TNT co-analyst Kenny Smith's posterior, Barkley puckered up and pecked a donkey's hind end.
The stunt came one week after Barkley bet Smith that No. 1 overall draft pick Yao Ming, the Houston Rockets, a 7-foot-6 center from China, wouldn't score 19 points in an NBA game.
At the time, the bet seemed a safe one for Barkley: Yao averaged just 3.3 points in his first six games. Two days after Barkley's comments, however, Yao scored 20 in a Rockets victory over the Lakers, making all nine of his shots, and it was pay-up time.
When Barkley said he planned to live up to his end of the deal, Smith replied by saying, "Sometimes even when you win, you lose."
For the occasion, Smith said he purchased a donkey so that Barkley could kiss his, well, ass. With a TNT studio panel that included Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura mocking him, Barkley leaned in close and gave the donkey a quick peck on the haunches.