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Barkley apologizes to Walsh, D'Antoni

FILE - Charles Barkley works with the TNT

FILE - Charles Barkley works with the TNT broadcast team at the 2001 NBA Draft at Madison Square Garden in New York. (June 27, 2001) Credit: AP

Charles Barkley issued an apology to Mike D'Antoni and Donnie Walsh at halftime of TNT's 76ers-Heat broadcast Thursday nightfor comments he made about D'Antoni's job security before Game 2 of the Knicks-Celtics series Tuesday.

"I have a rule; I try to always be honest and fair on TV,'' he said. "I screwed up the other night when I said something about Mike D'Antoni that wasn't cool. I want to apologize to Mike D'Antoni and Donnie Walsh. When you're on television, you should never talk about someone getting hired or fired. That's inappropriate. I made that mistake. I want to apologize personally to Mike D'Antoni and Donnie Walsh. I've got a great respect for Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni. I want to apologize. That's all I can do.''

During TNT's pregame show Tuesday, Barkley criticized D'Antoni's coaching and added, "That's why they are going to have a new coach next year.''

D'Antoni got word of it via text message after the Knicks' loss. Barkley has become notorious for his negative take on the Knicks, but according to multiple sources, this comment, especially with D'Antoni in the midst of a playoff series, infuriated several members of the hierarchy, most notably Walsh.

D'Antoni, who has a year left on his contract after this season, has been under fire from the media about some of his coaching decisions and philosophies. There have been no indications that his job is in question.

Walsh has a team option for next season that will lock in if Garden executive chairman James Dolan chooses to pick it up by April 30. Walsh's deal expires June 30, but Dolan still could negotiate an extension before then.

The Dolan family owns

controlling interests in the Knicks, MSG and Cablevision. Cablevision owns Newsday.


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