What can't be said about this loudmouth baller? One of the few people called Sir without actually being knighted by the Queen of England, Charles Barkley was a dominate force during his tenure in the National Basketball Association. Barkley was Shaq before Shaq was Shaq. Large, powerful and a mouth that wouldn't quit.

Born on February 20, 1963 in Leeds Alabama, Charles once had dreams of being Governor of Alabama. That would be 4 years ago, not when he was a four year old. Charles played college ball for Auburn. It was here that he received his nickname, "The Round Mound of Rebound." He was dubbed in such a manner for his ability to box out under the boards and his odd frame for a basketball player. At his thinnest, Charles was a svelte 250 lbs on his 6 foot, 6 inch frame. Note well children, you don't need to be thin to be good at what you do.

Charles left college a year early to enter the Association. He was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers as the 5th overall pick in 1984. Also drafted that year was Hakeem Olajuwon as the #1 pick, and some no-name picked #3 called Michael Jordan, I doubt you've heard of him.

Barkley would quickly assert himself on the basketball court. During his rookie season, Charles was 1.5 rebounds per game away from averaging a double double on the season. During his 8 years as a 76er, Charles drove the team to the play-offs 6 times. However, the farthest the team went in the play-offs was the Eastern Conference Finals in 1985, where they were defeated by the Boston Celtics. In 1987 Charles won his only rebounding title, with 994 boards.

During the early 90's, Charles would begin to get dissappointed with the direction that the 76ers were taking. He soon made his opinions vocal, and after the 91-92 season, Charles was traded. He was sent to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Jeff Hornacek, Tim Perry and Andrew Lang. In the new uniform, Barkley was energized and rejuvinated. Almost all across the board, his statistics improved. At the end of the season, Sir Charles became the 3rd player in NBA history to win the MVP award the season after being traded to a new team. Phoenix would stampede their way to the NBA finals that season, going 62-20 during the season, and tearing through the play-offs. The only thing in their way, was the Jordan led Chicago Bulls. The teams battled for six games before the Bulls took the upper hand, and ultimately, the Championship. This was Phoenix's second appearance in the finals, and their first since 1976.

Barkley stayed in Phoenix only four years before being traded again, this time to the Houston Rockets in exchange for Sam Cassell, Robert Horry, Chucky Brown and Mark Bryant. Joining Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler, one would think that the Rockets were unstoppable. However, they were stopped twice by the Utah Jazz in the opening round of the playoffs in 96-97 and 97-98. In 98-99, the Lakers, en route to their first of three championships, squashed the Rockets' play-off hopes.

1998-1999 would mark the last playoff appearance for the Round Mound of Rebound. Charles spent most of the 99-00 season in a peculiar position, warming left bench, due to a torn left quadriceps tendon occurring early in the season during a game against his old team, the 76ers. Both his mother and grandmother were in attendence that game as it was a farewell to Charles, as he was thinking of retiring after that season. The injury would assure that.

Barkley would have nothing to complain about during his NBA career, except for his lack of a championship ring. He was voted to 11 All-Star games and was named MVP of the 1991 contest. Charles played on the origional Dream Team that housed the 1992 Olympics held in Barcelona, Spain. He also won a gold medal with the 1996 team that played down in Hotlanta. Charles is one of four players to hve 20,000+ points, over 10,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists. The other three players are Wilt Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone. Not bad company.

Charles Barkley is known for his on-court antics as well as his off the court comments. Since retiring, Charles signed a contract with TNT and announces games along with the rest of their NBA announcing squad. Charles is also an avid golfer, and runs his own yearly charity tournament.

Sir Charles on...
America
"You know it's going to hell when the best rapper out there is white and the best golfer is black."

People
I don't care what people think. People are stupid.

If he never played basketball
If I weren't earning $3 million a year to dunk a basketball, most people on the street would run in the other direction if they saw me coming.

Rough Play
Somebody hits me, I'm going to hit him back. Even if it does look like he hasn't eaten in a while.

The Media
My initial response was to sue her for defamation of character, but then I realized that I had no character.

His Shoes
These are my new shoes. They're good shoes. They won't make you rich like me, they won't make you rebound like me, they definitely won't make you handsome like me. They'll only make you have shoes like me. That's it.

The Big Apple
I love New York City; I've got a gun.

His Retirement
"Just what America needs ... One more unemployed black man."

Statistics

Height: 6-6
Weight: 246 on retirement
Position: Forward/power forward
Numbers: #34, #4
 YEAR TEAM  G GS  MIN  FGM  FGA 3PM 3PA FTM FTA OFR DER  REB AST STL BLK  TO  PF  PTS
 84-85 PHI 82 60 2347  427  783   1   6 293 400 266 437  703 155  95  80 209 301 1148
 85-86 PHI 80 80 2952  595 1041  17  75 396 578 354 672 1026 312 173 125 350 333 1603
 86-87 PHI 68 62 2740  557  937  21 104 429 564 390 604  994 331 119 104 322 252 1564
 87-88 PHI 80 80 3170  753 1283  44 157 714 951 385 566  951 254 100 103 304 278 2264
 88-89 PHI 79 79 3088  700 1208  35 162 602 799 403 583  986 325 126  67 254 262 2037
 89-90 PHI 79 79 3085  706 1177  20  92 557 744 361 548  909 307 148  50 243 250 1989
 90-91 PHI 67 67 2498  665 1167  44 155 475 658 258 422  680 284 110  33 210 173 1849
 91-92 PHI 75 75 2881  622 1126  32 137 454 653 271 559  830 308 136  44 235 196 1730
 92-93 PHO 76 76 2859  716 1376  67 220 445 582 237 691  928 385 119  74 233 196 1944
 93-94 PHO 65 65 2298  518 1046  48 178 318 452 198 529  727 296 101  37 206 160 1402
 94-95 PHO 68 66 2382  554 1141  74 219 379 507 203 553  756 276 110  45 150 201 1561
 95-96 PHO 71 71 2632  580 1160  49 175 440 566 243 578  821 262 114  56 218 208 1649
 96-97 HOU 53 53 2009  335  692  58 205 288 415 212 504  716 248  69  25 151 153 1016
 97-98 HOU 68 41 2243  361  744  18  84 296 397 241 553  794 217  71  28 147 187 1036
 98-99 HOU 42 40 1526  240  502   4  25 192 267 167 349  516 192  43  13 100  89  676
 99-00 HOU 20 18 620   106  222   6  26  71 110  71 138  209  63  14   4  44  48  289

          G    GS  MIN   FGM  FGA  3PM  3PA  FTM  FTA  OFR  DER  REB   AST  STL BLK  TO   PF   PTS
 Career 1073 1012 39330 8435 15605 538 2020 6349 8643 4260 8286 12546 4215 1648 888 3376 3287 23757
 Playoff 123  108  4849 1009 1965  64   251  751 1048  510 1072  1582  482  193 108  353  408  2833
 All-Star 9    7   209   45   91   3    12   20   32   22   38    60   16    12  4   20   18   113
Sources:
http://espn.go.com/nba/news/1999/1208/221469.html
http://www.nba.com/playerfile/charles_barkley/?nav=page
http://www.mugshots.org/sports/charles-barkley.html
http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/c/a126043.html
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/basketball/nba/news/1999/12/24/barkley_special/

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