Back in the “I am not a role model” days, there was no way to guess that Charles Barkley would become America’s sweetheart — the kind of guy who can throw someone through a plate glass window, get a DUI while trying to hook up and still be loved the world round. But that’s what happened and we’re all better off for it. No one complains about having a little Chuck in their life.

Except maybe Kenny Smith and LeBron James, who wouldn’t get a helping hand from the Round Mound of Rebound if he was the only one who could save them. From Barkley’s appearance on ESPN Radio’s “Waddle and Silvy”:

Silvy: If Ernie [Johnson] and Kenny [Smith] were hanging from a cliff, which one would you save?

Barkley: Oh, I’m a save Ernie. Not only that, I probably gonna kick Kenny’s hand off the cliff.

Silvy: What if it’s LeBron or Dwyane Wade, which one are you saving?

Barkley: Oh, LeBron’s gone, bro.

Tragic. I am going to miss Kenny Smith and LeBron James, as they have both been great entertainers over the years. It was fun while it lasted, but now that they have plummeted to their deaths, we’re going to have to find a way to move on. I guess it was just their time.

But really, this is just funning with some friends. There’s no better way to tell that a guy is your buddy than to hear him tell a couple of radio hosts that he wouldn’t save you if you were hanging from a cliff while laughing about it. It’s a dead giveaway, and probably a beer commercial of some sort.

Besides, Charles Barkley is probably big enough to save all four of these guys at the same time. If two of them grab each of his hands and he leans back, he’ll be able to catapult them to safety. Sometimes a little post-playing weight can be a real life-saver.