Charles Barkley is one of the most beloved figures in sports. As iconic as he was as a basketball player, he may even be more impactful as a basketball analyst. “Sir Charles” is one of the rare athletes whose popularity may have grown when he moved away from athletics.
Chuck played three years of college basketball for Auburn. His time at Auburn impressed the basketball world and he entered the 1984 NBA Draft. The Philadelphia 76ers took the Power Forward with the fifth overall pick. Barkley joined a 76ers squad that was filled with NBA legends. Julius Erving, Moses Malone, and Maurice Cheeks were teammates of Barkley’s during his rookie season. Under their leadership and tutelage, Barkley had a strong debut season.
The Philadelphia 76ers didn’t accomplish much during the 8 years Barkley was a member of the team. He grew frustrated with the lack of progress the organization was making. Barkley’s time in Philly was filled with a lot of individual highlights. However, there was a lot of controversy too. Charles had a knack for getting in trouble. He was so charming and fun loving that a lot of his controversies were overlooked by the media and fans.
In 1992, the Sixers and Charles Barkley would part ways. Barkley was tired of losing, and the Sixers were tired of his off the court antics. Chuck would be moved to the Phoenix Suns, and he would find the greatest success of his career.
During the 1993 NBA Season, Barkley’s first with the Suns, he brought home his first MVP trophy. Barkley would lead the Suns to the NBA Finals – against Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. The Suns would be beaten by the Bull in the Finals, but the series was competitive, and Barkley held his own against MJ.
Round Mound of Rebound
Chuck would play in the NBA for 16 years. He is one of the most unique players to ever play the game. Even though he was listed as 6’6 – Barkley was about 6’3, if not shorter. He struggled at times with his weight, but when he was in shape, Barkley was a powerful athlete. His athleticism could be shocking at times for a man of his size and build. Barkley was an elite level rebounder – which earned him the nickname, the “Round Mound of Rebound.” Barkley could dribble and handle the ball like a guard but had the power and strength to fight with big men on the post. The Round Mound of Rebound could do everything on the basketball court.
Life After Basketball
Charles Barkley was incredibly popular as an NBA player. You can make the argument that Barkley might even be more popular today, thanks to his work as a television analyst. His natural charisma and charm make him perfect for TV. Charles is known to have no filter, and that makes him fun to watch. He is candid in his criticism of players, coaches, and the sports world. Charles Barkley is a personality that has transcended basketball and sports.
- Adam C. Better
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