Sir Charles, could he be the greatest player from Alabama?
With the NBA restarting it got me thinking of some great NBA players from our state, there have been many. But one sticks out, and that is Sir Charles Barkley. Barkley from Leeds, AL and playing his college ball at Auburn and then onto the NBA to have an outstanding long career. Some may look at him now on tv doing broadcasting and think he couldn’t have been that great. But Barkley was a fiery competitor, so athletic and was one of the most dominant power forwards ever. During his 3 seasons at Auburn he broke records, earned SEC player of the year in 1984, became a member of Auburn’s all century team, 3 all-SEC selections and much more. The skills he had were tremendous, despite many thinking he was undersized, he could handle the ball pretty well and could absolutely slam it home hard. He led the tigers to their very first appearance in the NCAA tournament in 1984, and his #34 jersey is retired at Auburn. Then he went into the NBA draft in 1984 and was selected 5th by the 76ers, just two spots after Michael Jordan was drafted. He got drafted to a team with some great veterans on it, like Julius Erving and Moses Malone, he earned a spot on the all rookie team that year. Then in 1992 he got traded to the Phoenix Suns and in 93 he won the MVP of the league. There was the dream team in 92 that he was apart of, many people still think it’s the best team of all time in any sport. In those Olympic games he averaged 18.0 points per game, which he was the highest scoring member of that team. Barkley was a force on the court, he played with an incredible intensity and just went all out, he had this tough persona about him. After the Suns he went on to play for the Houston Rockets before retiring after the 1999-2000 year. Barkley racked up many awards, NBA all star MVP, MVP of the league, NBA first team 5 times, his #34 jersey retired with the 76ers, he led the league in rebounds in 87, and of course he is in the hall of fame. Now you can see him on Tv and he is an incredible personality on it, one where you just wanna watch to see what he is going to say. Highly recommend that if you don’t remember him playing or never seen him play, go check out some old games on youtube.