For smart money, bet's on Bavetta 

February, 16, 2007
LAS VEGAS -- Just back from Caesar's Palace, where I hung out with Charles Barkley for 15 minutes earlier this evening to discuss his upcoming race against referee Dick Bavetta.

And after discussing the matter with Sir Charles, who's carrying around at least 100 more pounds of girth than he had when I covered him as a player, I am issuing the strongest prediction I've ever issued, and I'm encouraging all you readers to turn this bit of Insider knowledge into a tidy profit on Saturday night by following my wagering advice: Bet the mortgage on Bavetta, and bet next month's mortgage, too, if you can find anyone clueless enough to put their money on Barkley.

Bavetta might actually lap Barkley in this race, which will consist of two and a half trips from baseline to baseline, ending at center court.