Two-time WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair is a true lover of sports. He watches everything from college and professional football to baseball and hockey, where he especially can’t get enough of the playoffs.
But there is one sport that he is starting to walk away from because it embodies the exact opposite of what professional wrestling is at its core.
Scrutiny has found that the NBA in recent years as players resting for «load management» on the court, as well as players sitting out with injuries some believe they should play, don’t sit well with «The Nature Boy».
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«These basketball players whining and b—h, they’ve taken a lot out of the sport for me,» Flair told Fox News Digital while promoting his new energy drink, Wooooo! Energy.
The NBA used to be a league where the paint was an area where you better be prepared to get hurt if you were driving to the basket, and rivalries regularly turned physical. Now, with safety becoming a priority in all professional sports, the NBA has been calling far more technical fouls for displays of aggression like that.
However, fans have not been fond of «tack fouls,» or borderline ones with players embellishing themselves to get to the foul line for free throws.
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Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James has been criticized for that for years, but Flair is a big fan of «The King» because of what he’s accomplished in the league.
«Broke Kareem’s [Abdul-Jabaar] record in 21 years in the league! On the cover of Sports Illustrated at 16!» Flair yelled.
Flair was also a huge fan of James’ ESPY speech in which the latter said that he should be shown respect, whether love or hate, for what he has given to the game of basketball.
Like James, Flair dedicated his time, effort, and sacrifice to his own sport of professional wrestling. That meant performing through injuries most nights.
«They go to work injured,» Flair said of professional wrestlers. «That’s what bugs me today about these basketball players stubbing their toes. No, how do you think I feel knowing that I struggled six months after I broke my back in a fucking plane crash?» I have a broken nail. Go, go, go.»
But while Flair respects all wrestlers because of the stress their bodies take, he’s seen his breed of wrestlers disappear over the years, something he’s still trying to come to terms with.
«All they do now is go there, practice and make money,» he said. «I don’t know what else they do. Nobody pays the price anymore, I’ll say it. Traveling 3,000 miles a week for $50 a night and a hard-boiled egg and a pig’s foot. Forget it.»
«They don’t have to do what I did in the ’70s and all that bullshit. I mean, no one should have been treated like that. But they have to live through it, they have to sacrifice.» he.»
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Flair goes head-to-head with the energy drink game
You wouldn’t think that seven different strains of functional mushrooms would work together to create one energy drink, but Flair swears by his new drink that it embodies the charisma and passion for which he’s best known.
«It’s me in a can, bro. That’s how I define it,» he said.
Chad Bronstein, Chairman and President of Cama HoldCo, explained how mushrooms make this product different from the rest of the market. And no, it’s not the mushrooms you may be thinking of.
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«Functional fungi,» Bronstein explained. «That’s the key differentiator: there are psychedelic mushrooms and there are functional mushrooms… It creates a feeling of natural focus. We wanted to create an energy drink that was different, that wouldn’t make you jittery and still keep you focused and energized. That was the ingredient we thought he would do that.»
Added Flair: «It’s very durable. I gave this to a guy who coaches Olympians, ran the NFL Combine, and was a strength and conditioning coach at the University of Georgia for 10 years. He’s seen it all. He’s seen it all.» He drinks every day now, and he said it passes the time.»