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33 Classic Moments From David Letterman's Shows That Sports Fans Won't Ever Forget (VIDEO)

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David Letterman and Charles Barkley discuss Brett Favre's sexting scandal. | CBS

There are basically two ways that athletes ended up on David Letterman's late night programs over the years: The right way and the funny way.

The right way often involved winning a championship of some sort, competing in the Olympics or otherwise garnering attention for one's superlative efforts in competition.

"This is to solidify when you've won something. You've got to do Letterman," Kevin Garnett said while visiting the Ed Sullivan Theater with Ray Allen just a day after the Boston Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2008 NBA Finals.

Over the years, the funny way involved sports stars whose performances on or off the field were less praiseworthy, notably Tiger Woods, Brett Favre, the New York Knicks and, for a brief period of the 1990s, a guy named Jeff Gillooly.

With Letterman announcing that he will retire in 2015, here are 33 classic sporting moments from his decades behind desks and on stages for CBS and NBC. From interviews with Michael Jordan and Wayne Gretzky when both were still establishing their greatness and an unforgettable encounter between wrestler Jerry Lawler and comedian Andy Kaufman during the 1980s to a reflective chat with Magic Johnson and Larry Bird in 2012, Letterman became an unlikely but unshakeable part of the wide world of sports during his unforgettable career.

  • Michael Jordan Interview, 1986
  • Jeter, Pettitte And Posada Interview, 2009
  • Top 10 Tiger Woods Text Messages
  • Charles Barkley Talks Favre Sexting, 2010
  • Dale Earnhardt Sr.'s Top 10 List
  • Jerry Lawler vs. Andy Kaufman, 1980
  • Top 10 Thoughts Going Through A-Rod's Head
  • Letterman Slams Knicks, 2005
  • Kevin Ware's Interview & Top 10 List
  • Shaun White Interview, 2013
  • George Steinbrenner & Billy Martin Interview, 1985
  • Amare Stoudemire's Top 10 List
  • Hope Solo And Abby Wambach Interview, 2011
  • Dave's Mom Covers The 1994 Olympics
  • David Ortiz Interview, 2013
  • Mike Schmidt's inside Pitch, 1988
  • Peyton Manning Interview, 1997
  • Erin Andrews Interview, 2014
  • To 10 Cool Things About Winning A Gold Medal
  • Venus Williams' Top 10 List
  • Letterman Pitches To Mark McGwire, 1998
  • David Stern's Top 10 List
  • Debating Brady vs. Manning w/ The Mad Dog, 2013
  • LeBron James Interview, 2006
  • Top 10 Alex Rodriguez Excuses
  • Magic Johnson And Larry Bird Interview, 2012
  • Top 10 Brett Favre Excuses
  • Wayne Gretzky, 1986
  • Shaquille O'Neal Interview, 2011
  • Kevin Garnett And Ray Allen Interview, 2008
  • 'Furious Five' interview, 2012
  • Hank Aaron Interview, 1982
  • Letterman Pitching At Yankee Stadium

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