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Larry King Talks 80th B-Day, Great Athletes, & Broadcasting Career

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Bryan Steffy/Getty Images

Bryan Steffy/Getty Images

marcsm Marc James
Since 2008, Marc was the Afternoon Drive host (3-7 P.M.) on ESPN 1040...
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Legendary broadcaster Larry King talked with Marc James this week about turning the big 8-0, his new show on HULU, and his take on great athletes in the sports world.

On his big birthday, King says that “it feels weird,” saying that he didn’t know anyone who was 80 when he was a little kid.

Some people might not know that Larry King was the radio analyst for the Miami Dolphins during Don Shula’s perfect season.

“He’s one of my favorite all time favorite people,” says King.  “It was an extraordinary team.  You know every year they pray when a team goes undefeated for 7 or 8 games they lose a game which was Kansas City this year.” And when Kansas City finally lost this year, King says that Shula and all of the guys call each other and celebrate in Miami that their team still holds the record.

King has some way to have all of his radio/TV guests and celebrities talk with so candidly for all of his interviews, but the journalist’s approach to making these interviews was never difficult for him.

“I’m innately curious,” says Larry King. “I left my ego at the door. I didn’t use the word ‘I’ when I interviewed people.  I made good eye contact, and I was sincerely interested in the person.  I cared about what they thought.  I was able to walk into their shoes, so I never had an agenda. And a lot of what I see on television today and on radio sometimes is terrible to me.  The hosts are bad for themselves…and give their own opinions. I don’t learn a lot.”

On the battle between Michael Jordan and Lebron James on who is the better athlete of all time, Larry King says it’s hard to compare different eras.

“With conditioning, and exercising, and vitamins and supplements and workout rooms, I haven’t seen anyone built like Lebron James.  Michael Jordan wasn’t built like Lebron James.”

King says that Jordan was the best player in his era and dominated his era.  James is a great athlete but hasn’t necessarily dominated in this era just by winning 2 national championships.

On his dream interview that he hadn’t interviewed before, King says that he would like to have sat down with Fidel Castro.

“Forgetting politics, no one has ever led a country for 60 years, ever,” says King, who wanted to know more about how Castro persevered while standing up to the United States only 90 miles away.


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