Wipe your own ass, America.
That might not be the best campaign slogan if Charles Barkley decides to run for president in 2020, but it was his message to the geeks last week at CES.
We had a lot of fun catching up with the NBA legend and current TNT hoops analyst at the big tech expo in Las Vegas. Inside the NBA, starring former players Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kenny Smith, brought its production studio to the CES show floor for the third consecutive year (check out our interviews from 2016 and 2017).
Barkley, who made headlines late last year after voicing support for Doug Jones in Alabama’s special election, isn’t a huge technology fan but appreciates the grandeur of CES, which attracts 170,000 people from 150 countries and offers a glimpse of gadgets we may use in the future.
Among the thousands of products shown off last week in Las Vegas were high-tech toilets that feature voice assistant technology, bidets, and music.
Barkley isn’t so keen on the idea.
“Listen man,” Barkley told GeekWire. “America, if you’re too sorry to wipe your ass, that’s sad. You just get toilet paper, get you one of those moist towelettes … you don’t need a smart toilet. Please stop it. Y’all be making these people lazy.”
Smith, a two-time NBA champion who calls himself an “undercover geek,” differs on the smart toilet topic. In fact, he actually owns a souped-up toilet in his own house. I told him Barkley thought smart toilets were for lazy people, and Smith noted that “I might be cleaner than him.”
“I have a smart Kohler toilet,” he added. “It lifts up as I walk in; it heats you; it plays music; it’s a bidet. Everything that you could think of, it does.”
We also asked Barkley and Smith about voice assistants from companies like Amazon and Google, and learned why Barkley just made the switch from Samsung to iPhone. Check out the video above for more.
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to ask Shaq about his thoughts on smart toilets as he was running late for the live show on Thursday — however, GeekWire photographer Kevin Lisota did capture this gem of the world’s tallest geek.