Ask Sir Charles

Q: Of all the cities you played in while in the NBA, where was the best atmosphere, what was the most exciting venue, who had the most knowledgeable fans?

- Curious in Conshohocken

A: Dude that's not a question, that's a book. The most exciting basketball venue was the original Forum in Los Angeles, due mostly to the number of celebrities in the stands on any given night. It was like going to the Academy Awards. When you see a Jack Nicholson or Denzel Washington or somebody else from the movies sitting there watching you work, that's pretty special. As far as knowledgeable fans: I'm sure Philly fans won't appreciate my answer, but I don't know how many people actually read SportsWeek, so I think I'm safe to say Portland. Maybe it's because the Blazers are the only game in town, but the fans who used to pack the Rose Garden were smart, spirited; they knew basketball and they loved their team. It was always a tough game for a visiting team.

Q: I have to fly for work a lot, and sometimes I'm just not in the mood to chat with the people sitting next to me. What's the best strategy to make sure they know I really don't want to talk? Headphones? A book? Or is honesty really the best policy?

- A Frequent Flyer in Malvern

A: Bro, being rude is not a good policy under any circumstances. Just say "hello" and then go about your business. Maybe the other person doesn't want to talk to you either. Some people can get a little chatty, but you can always close your eyes or pretend to be reading something like your life depended on it. I know somebody who used to fake dry heaves into that little bag they put in the seat pocket in front of you. That's a sure way to shut down the person sitting next to you. But I don't think you have to go to that extreme.