Barkley, too, takes some heat from Miami fans

Updated 5/23/2011 10:29 PM

MIAMI -- Joakim Noah wasn't the only one who had problems with a fan in Miami on Sunday.

TNT announced plans to m ove its studio crew indoors after analyst Charles Barkley was hit by a towel and subjected to taunts after Sunday's Game 3.


The studio table was set up outside of American Airlines Arena. On Tuesday during Game 4, the analysts will remain inside the stadium.

Barkley brushed off the incident during an appearance on Miami radio station WQAM.

"Most of the fans are cool," Barkley said, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. "There's always going to be a couple of idiots. People think if you don't pick their team to win, you don't like them.

"We go through this every couple of years when we travel. If you don't pick somebody's team, their fans become idiots. But you don't take that personally. As long as they're watching the show, that's all that I care about."

Guard Dwyane Wade, who co-stars in phone commercials with Barkley, applauded the poor behavior from Heat fans.

"It was great to hear; it was great to see, for my fans, to stick up for us," Wade said. "And, at one point, Chuck got a little frustrated with it. Good for them."

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Asik hopes to play:

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said he was hopeful center Omer Asik will be able to play Tuesday in Game 4.

Asik left Sunday's loss to the Heat in the third quarter with a muscle strain in his lower leg and did not return. Asik said Monday he'll be OK.

"He's day-to-day," Thibodeau said.

"He'll get treatment. (Trainer) Fred (Tedeschi) will take him out onto the court to see if he's having any problems and hopefully, he'll be ready to go."

Veteran Kurt Thomas hasn't played yet in this series, but he's warming up in the bullpen.

"We feel very good about Kurt," Thibodeau said. "If Omer can't go, then Kurt will be the next guy in."

Asik's injury prevented Thibodeau from using his preferred fourth-quarter lineup with Asik, Taj Gibson and Ronnie Brewer. Miami also had its highest-scoring fourth quarter of the series by far, with 28 points. The Heat scored 14 in the fourth quarter of Game 2.


"We've got to play better team defense," Thibodeau said.

"We can't rely on just two guys. We have to rely on everybody."

Bulls take on the fans:

Carlos Boozer offered his thoughts Monday on NBA players dealing with rude spectators.

"Fans have the right to say what they want to say after they buy their tickets," Boozer said.

"They have the right to say what they want to say. Unfortunately, sometimes for us we have to sit there and take it. Unfortunately, that's part of sports.

"There should be security to take care of the fans that are inappropriate. That doesn't happen too often. At the same time, we have to do a better job of holding our composure."

Taj Gibson was asked if the Bulls made a request to have the fan involved in the Joakim Noah incident removed from the building.

"We just focused on trying to get a win," he said. "I've seen guys removed for doing stuff like that. Being from New York, playing in hostile environments like Rucker Park, Joakim knows better than having a fan kicked out after spending so much money on a ticket."

Deng recalls foul:

By the time the game was over, it was largely forgotten.

But like many Bulls fans, Luol Deng was still shaking his head Monday about getting called for a 3-shot foul against LeBron James in the first quarter. Contact was difficult to spot on the replays.

"I saw the replay," Deng said. "I think you guys saw the replay too. I'll let everyone be their own judge. You lose your temper during the game, but then again, I really don't think the refs are favoring any side. It's just how the game goes.

"I don't think, if I shot that three and he hit me like that, I would have got that call. That's not the way you win the game or lose. That's just part of the game."


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