Wednesday, December 5th, 2012


THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6 AT 9 P.M. ET ON NBC SPORTS NETWORK Outspoken Commentators John McEnroe and Charles Barkley Discuss Costas’ Recent Halftime Essay, as well as the Top Sports Stories of 2012 Pat Riley, Michael Phelps, Missy Franklin, Tom Coughlin Also Join Costas “I carried a gun in my car every year of my life since I was 20 – never had to use it.” – Charles Barkley “I feel safer without it…there are too many scenarios that would make it much easier to pick up a gun and do something.” – John McEnroe “I think this (2012) team would have run them right off the court.” – Pat Riley on the 2012 Olympic Men’s Basketball team vs. 1992 Dream Team

NEW YORK – December 5, 2012 – Costas Tonight: 2012 Year in Review will recap some of the year’s biggest sports moments on and off the field. Host Bob Costas, a 24-time Emmy Award-winning journalist and one of America’s preeminent interviewers, welcomes some of the most dynamic and influential sports personalities of 2012. Costas Tonight: 2012 Year in Review, which taped yesterday at Rockefeller Plaza in New York, will air on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 9 p.m. ET, on NBC Sports Network.

Costas hosted tennis legend John McEnroe and Hall-of-Fame basketball player and current TNT NBA analyst Charles Barkley as they further discussed Costas’ recent halftime essay on Sunday Night Football, and the murder/suicide in Kansas City. They also discussed the biggest events in the sporting world in 2012, including the NBA Finals, Federar-Murray at Wimbledon and the London Olympics and they each picked their sportsperson of the year.

Additionally, Costas interviewed President of the 2012 NBA Champion Miami Heat and NBA Hall-of-Fame coach Pat Riley, Olympic Gold Medalists Michael Phelps and Missy Franklin, and Head Coach of the 2012 Super Bowl Champion New York Giants Tom Coughlin.

INTERVIEWS: Below are excerpts from the show. If used, please note the mandatory credit: “In exclusive interviews airing Thursday night on Costas Tonight on NBC Sports Network”


Barkley: “I think, especially in the black culture, it’s a crime culture. We, as black people, and I always say we, we don’t have respect for each other. We got more black men in prison than we do in college, and crime in our neighborhoods is running rampant. I know everybody reacts when something like the (Jovan) Belcher thing happens (in Kansas City) but being black, this is something you deal with all the time, and it’s just sad. I’m a guy and I carry a gun. I carry a gun.

“I carried a gun in my car, every year of my life since I was 20 – never had to use it… I just feel safer with it because we have jocks who get robbed all the time, road rage and things like that. I feel a sense of peace when I have it with me, but it would take extreme circumstances for me to even touch it.”

McEnroe: “I feel safer without it. I’ve got to say I think that there are just so many bad things that could happen. That’s why someone like Mayor Bloomberg in New York City, where I live, has advocated, I think rightly so, that we get as many guns as possible off the streets. There are too many scenarios…that would make it that much easier to pick up a gun and do something.”

Costas: “Some people misunderstood when I pointed to what Jason Whitlock had said about a gun culture (in Sunday Night Football halftime essay). They thought I was laying everything at the feet of that. Domestic violence is part of it; the possible effect that football itself has on many of its participants is part of it. Drugs and alcohol could be part of it. And I didn’t say anything specifically about gun control legislation or the second amendment. I don’t want to repeal the second amendment. I think we should have responsible gun control but that wouldn’t prohibit somebody from carrying a gun.”

To watch a portion of this segment click here:


ON 2012 OLYMPIC BASKETBALL TEAM VS. DREAM TEAM: “This (2012) team probably would have run them right off the court. There is only one player on that team in ’92 that had the attitude, in the Olympics, that was Michael Jordan; also he was right in his prime…This team and the way that these players play now are so much more athletic and condition-wise and strength and all of these things, and the way they shoot the ball from 3-point range. I do think that this (2012) team probably would have beat the ’92 team. The ’92 Dream Team was a great team that was put together, but I’m not so sure that they were so disciplined as the team that was formed in 2012.”


PHELPS ON HIS PLANS FOR RIO 2016: “I’ll be there. I won’t be swimming. But I’ll be there.”

PHELPS ON CALL ME MAYBE VIDEO: “The 2012 Olympic Team was probably the closest Olympic team we’ve ever had. It’s funny to say this now, but the Call Me Maybe video brought all of us together. There were probably some of us that didn’t want to do it, and felt kind of weird doing it. But I think it really just shows how we are as a team.”

FRANKLIN ON HER DECISION TO CHOOSE TO GO TO UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA: “My parents and I made the decision together, and it was hard because it affects all of us. It was very hard, but at the end of the day, we truly felt that college would be more of a benefit than all this money I could be getting (by turning professional). I stay strong to that and I’m happy with our decision.”

FRANKLIN ON HALLOWEEN: “One of the biggest moments for me – especially emotionally – was Halloween. There were so many pictures of little girls dressed up as me for Halloween. That was just one of the coolest moments of my life. Even in my neighborhood, I would open the door and hand out candies to little me’s and I was just like “this is so cool!”


ON THE HANDSHAKE WITH BILL BELICHICK AFTER SUPER BOWL XLVI: “Very, very moving experience for me because I tried to put myself in his shoes and how difficult that was for him. We kind of put our arms around each other – I won’t tell you what was said, but we put our arms around each other. We had embraced so I started to come back and he kind of pulled again. And so we…it was kind of a special moment.”

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Costas Tonight builds on Costas’ long and storied career as an interviewer from Later with Bob Costas and Costas Coast-to-Coast to his acclaimed HBO programs, On the Record and CostasNOW. Costas Tonight originates from Studio 8G at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.