Though he keeps being modest enough to live without any NBA Titles, his ring-less fingers are duly compensated by 2 Olympic Gold Medals, 1 NBA Regular Season MVP, 1 NBA Final, 11 All-Star appearances, 1 All-Star game MVP, 5 All-NBA First Team and 5 All-NBA Second Team selections, and being a member of 2 “Dream Team”s. His resume has been enshrined with the retirement of his #34 jersey by two of his former teams, Phoenix Suns and Philadelphia 76ers, together with the inductions to NBA Hall of Fame and 50 Greatest Players list.
And now, we proudly present you the unknown and enthusiastic facts of Sir Chuck, the biggest power forward that NBA has ever seen..
Place and date of birth
February 20, 1963; Leeds, Alabama
Leeds, Alabama. He was raised in a small county by his mother, sisters, grandmother and grandfather, and he never met his father.
Auburn (his #34 jersey has been retired by the college, where an assistant to Auburn University’s then-head coach, Sonny Smith, described Barkley as, “a fat guy… who can play like the wind”).
With succeeding one of the very rare interracial marriages among the NBA, he is married to Maureen Blumhardt (who is from white descendant) since 1989, and despite there were some rumors that they got divorced, they are still happily married. They have a daughter named Christiana (Editor’s note: As it was also stated by Mr. Barkley in his Hall of Fame induction speech, he is very protective and conservative about his daughter, and intimidates any male groom candidates publicly in a humorous way).
A member of the 1984 Draft class
He was selected by the 76ers as the 5th overall pick in the most famous (and one of the three best ever) draft in NBA history, the 1984 Draft, in which players like Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, John Stockton, Alvin Robertson, Sam Perkins, Otis Thorpe, Kevin Willis, Vern Fleming, late Jerome Kersey, Rick Carlisle and Brazilian legend, Oscar Schimdt were also drafted.
A body that rebels against the laws of physics
You can think that Barkley’s bulky physique is just a fallacy of the mother nature, but he has an unbelievable, yet very efficient athleticism, speed, stamina, quickness and agility, harmonized perfectly with his fantastic strength.
As a power forward, Barkley’s height stands for only 6’6″ (1.98 m – which is also the height of Michael Jordan, who played as a normal sized shooting guard), which is also speculated to be reduced and shrunk to 6’4″ (1.93 m) towards the end of his career, after a series of terrible back and leg injuries! Still, with his timing and zoning abilities, intuition, aggressiveness and dominance in the paint, he became the master of the rebounds and the offensive end of the court. Together with other legends such as Dennis Rodman, Allen Iverson, Wes Unseld and Muggsy Bogues, he is clearly one of the all-time best undersized players for his position. The self-proclaimed “ninth wonder of the world” is the shortest player in NBA history to lead the league in rebounding.
Controversial, but yet very entertaining media figure
With also being an elite trash-talker in his whole playing career, Barkley was and still is a unique, one-of-a-kind media actor, whose outrageous mouth became a source of trouble for nearly every living being. He had a special hard on for the team mascots of NBA franchises in the games, also, he insulted many people, including Germans, on several occasions, with using slang language and swear words generally and publicly. He had many problems with compulsive gambling and alcoholism, as well as bar fights, brawls and constant aggressiveness throughout his playing career, and got even arrested on DUI charges once.
As he got very popular among the fans and the media with his honesty and candid sincerity in no time, he expressed his menace bravely throughout his whole on- and 0ff-court life. This attitude and character led and dragged him to many controversies and fights with various people, providing that some of such controversies were in national level sometimes. One of these occasions was spitting on a young girl while attempting to spit at a heckler as of March 1991, where he apologized publicly from her and her family afterwards. In another world-wide incident, he throw an elbow to an Angolan basketball player, Herlander Coimbra, for grabbing a rebound in the ’92 Olympics, with adding an irritating but yet colorful comment at the end of the game. However, he had also apologized from that player and made him a “national hero in Angola”. (E.N.: They met again in 1996 Olympics and had a good relationship onward) With being penalized by the NBA administration and courts for many times, Barkley had his own way with the media and the NBA.
He has countless quotes that will last forever, and the most famous and effective of them was his declaration about his sharp attitude being a bad example for the youth in 1993. His exact words were, “I’m not a role model… Just because I dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids. I’m not paid to be a role model, parents should be role models.” This was also supported by many basketball players including Shaquille O’Neal, and this quote was also filmed as a commercial for the TV, as a public service ad that invites parents to care for the raising of their children and states that sports figures should not be considered as role models.
Talking about entertainment, he became a regular member of the TNT channel’s NBA analyst squad, with joining Ernie Johson and Kenny “The Jet” Smith after his retirement from active basketball in 2000. Their Emmy Award-winning television show recruits Shaquille O’Neal as a permanent member, and also had Chris Webber, Isiah Thomas, Steve Smith, Steve Kerr and Reggie Miller as regular members . He works as a colorful color analyst, with putting some really interesting shows that had many special scenes, such as his kiss with long-time NBA referee Dick Bavetta during an ad-hoc All-Star weekend challenge in which he raced against Bavetta in running the basketball court. He has another truly special kiss with a donkey’s ass on TV broadcast after he had lost a bet on Yao Ming’s rookie performance, against Kenny Smith. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOK0mVRPfdk)
As an output of his character, he was able to tell that his team that he has to be considered as the primary figure in the team’s offense after his rookie year in the NBA. This was an unexpected and ruthless display of his guts, as that 76ers team was the NBA champion two years before Barkley’s rookie season and was composed of NBA legends such as Julius “Dr. J” Erving, the almighty center late Moses Malone and Maurice Cheeks, with providing that they were all present in the championship run in 1983. As his laziness and bad nutrition diet was a constant fact that hold his talents back, with the help of such legendary teammates, his relentless guts had evolved to an unbreakable courage that made Barkley a mature, grown-up player who never gives up.
Just like post monsters Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O’Neal, Barkley was a true dominant figure in his playing years, in such a way that he changed one of the rules of NBA basketball with his one-man isolation habits in the offense in which he always turned his back to basket and start dribbling for many seconds until the concentration of the defender was diminished. As he was nearly unstoppable in finishing such one-man offenses with his shooting ability or power-play, NBA had to take some measures and implemented the “5-seconds back to basket violation” rule in order to make the game more fluent and dynamic. This rule is known as the “Charles Barkley rule”.
He had acted in numerous TV Series and films, generally portraying himself. The most famous work of his screenplay career is the 1996 movie, Space Jam.
Junk food, pizza, doughnuts, and generally, everything else that taste good.
He likes the mighty Allen Iverson’s game and style most. He also thinks that Kevin McHale, one of his bitter rivals from his early career, was the most unstoppable power forward in the paint. Lastly, he truly is a fan of Tim Duncan.
Although he was considered as a franchise player due to his leading and offensive abilities, Barkley had played for 3 different teams in his career span; Philadelphia 76ers, (where he wore #34, but switched to #32 in his last year for the memory of Magic Johnson, who had to retire due to HIV virus), Phoenix Suns and lastly, Houston Rockets. He leaded the Suns to the NBA Finals in ’93 with also winning the NBA Regular Season MVP Award. Despite his partnership with Clyde “The Glide” Drexler and Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon in his late career in Houston Rockets, he couldn’t manage to win a title, mainly due to performing poor after injuries, which declined his jumping ability totally. Suns and 76ers had retired his #34 jersey. (E.N: He wore #4 in Rockets)
“Sir Charles” is the most popular one for every NBA fan; though he loves the “Round mound of rebound” nickname the most. He has many other nicknames such as “Crisco Kid” as his second-favorite, and “Food World.” He actually have read a list of his nicknames himself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2gJzwugefw
After the completion of his 16-year playing career, Barkley is currently the 23rd all-time scorer in the NBA; he ranks 19th in all-time rebounds per game, 18th in total career rebounds and is one of only five players in NBA history with 23,000 points, 12,000 rebounds, 4,000 assists and 1,600 steals. His career statistics of 22.1 points per game and 11.7 rebounds per game over 16 years are remarkable for his size and a credit to his will power, despite his reluctance for playing rough on defense.
Generally, he has no “best friend”, especially after he parted his ways with Michael Jordan. When Barkley lost the ’93 NBA Championship to the Bulls, Jordan was the first one to give his condolences on the court immediately even though he was the winner of their rivalry. They used to play golf together, and are also gambling partners routinely, and motivate each other as an intimidating figures to train harder and become better each year.
As an unyielding, fearless and physical player, Barkley had involved in some serious clashes with some other strong big men of the NBA, such as Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Oakley and Bill Laimbeer. When the tension have increased, Barkley never stepped back. (E.N.: For the famous fight between Shaq and Chuck: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZ_3sLlZbuA)
One of the 7 best power forwards in the NBA History
Together with Tim Duncan (of whom Barkley himself defined as the only power forward who was actually better than him), Kevin Garnett, Karl Malone, Kevin McHale, Chris Webber and the “Big E” Elvin Hayes, Barkley is one of the best power forwards that the NBA had witnessed of. He was also a prominent clutch player whose go-to move was mid range and fade-away shooting, together with his sudden power dunks. He combined brutal strength and power playing with an energized and aesthetic style. (E.N.: When we take his undersized body into account, he is the best, the greatest power forward that ever stepped to the NBA courts in my account)
According to Karl Malone, who was a roommate of Barkley in international tournaments, Barkley was using a lip polisher cream in order to moisturize his sweetheart lips and he even made a stash in his belly button in order to put on some cream even during the match. Malone claimed that Barkley generally kept this run in his career, as he often reached underneath his jersey and got some cream and waxed his lips during the game. Barkley admitted and accepted such claim.
Barkley spoke for many years of his Republican Party affiliation. In 1995, he considered running as a Republican candidate for Alabama’s governorship in the 1998 election. However, in 2006, he altered his political stance, stating “I was a Republican until they lost their minds.” In addition to those, in October 2008, he announced that he would run for Governor of Alabama again in 2014, but he changed his mind in 2010.