Ric “The Nature Boy” Flair is one of the most iconic professional wrestlers in the history of sports entertainment. Even outside of his work with WWE, Flair is about as outspoken as any man of his stature can be.
Flair is also a big-time sports fan. Fox News recently revealed that Flair watches everything from college and pro football to baseball and hockey. He especially loves playoff action.
But professional basketball is the one sport that’s starting to draw his ire, with the NBA’s recent trend of resting star players in the name of “load management.”
Speaking with Fox News while promoting his new energy drink, Flair ripped current NBA players for their attitudes about playing through injuries.
“These basketball players that whine and [complain], it’s taken a lot of the sport away from me,” said Flair.
The WWE legend pointed to professional wrestlers and how they tend to perform through injuries.
“They go to work hurt,” Flair said about pro wrestlers. “That’s what [ticks[ me off today about these basketball players that stub their toe. No [crap]. How do you think I feel about that knowing I wrestled six months after I broke my back in a [freaking] airplane crash? ‘I got a torn thumbnail. Whoa, whoa, whoa.’”
One player he still respects, somewhat surprisingly, is NBA legend LeBron James.
“He broke Kareem’s [Abdul-Jabaar] record in 21 years in the league! On the cover of Sports Illustrated at 16!” He “screamed” to Fox News.
Flair also made sure to note that even today’s current crop of professional wrestlers don’t labor through the hardships that he had to.
“All they do now is go over there, practice, and make money,” he said. “I don’t know what else they do. No one’s paying the price anymore, I will say that. traveling 3,000 miles a week for 50 bucks a night and a hard-boiled egg and a pig’s foot. Forget it.”