|Charles Barkley Biography||
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Charles Wade Barkley (born February 20 1963, in Leeds, Alabama) is an United States former basketball Power forward (basketball). A current resident of Scottsdale, Arizona, Barkley is commonly nicknamed Sir Charles and occasionally The Round Mound of rebound (basketball). Barkley was named NBA Most Valuable Player Award of the National Basketball Association in 1992-93 NBA season. In 1996, the NBA's 50th anniversary, he was named one of the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. Barkley won the Olympic gold medal with the U.S. Dream Teams in the 1992 and 1996 Games. Barkley was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Barkley is best remembered for his tenacity and ruggedness for rebound (basketball), despite his relative lack of height for his natural position of power forward (basketball). In addition to being one of the best rebounders of all time, he was also a prolific scorer and a consummate team player.
After his playing career, Barkley has enjoyed enormous success as a sports commentator, leading some to believe that his legacy in basketball will be similar to American football's John Madden (football).
Barkley played college basketball for Auburn University for three years where he excelled as a player, being named All-SEC and leading the league in rebounding each year. He mainly played center (basketball) at Auburn, despite being quite shorter than normal for the position; he was listed as 6 ft 6 in, but it is actually stated in his book I May Be Wrong, But I Doubt It that he is closer to 6'4½".
In 1984, he left Auburn a year early to begin playing in the National Basketball Association with the Philadelphia 76ers. He was drafted in the first round as the fifth pick. Early in his career, Barkley had a weight problem, sometimes weighing over 136 kg (300 pounds) at Auburn. His nickname "The Round Mound of Rebound" dates back to his Auburn days. He battled those problems and through the tutelage of Moses Malone learned how to prepare himself for the game and get in better playing shape. In Barkley's second year he emerged averaging 20.0 ppg and 12.8 rpg and becoming the starter at power forward for the entire season. Unfortunately the team was getting older and after winning 58 and 54 games in his first 2 years they would not fare as well in the coming seasons. Aging players such as Moses Malone and Julius Erving were either traded away or retired. Later Barkley teamed with power forward/center Rick Mahorn, the two coined the nickname "Thump and Bump." The Sixers made a resurgence making the Eastern Conference Semifinals in 1990 and 1991 only to be eliminated by the Chicago Bulls both years. The team reached the playoffs with Barkley every year except for 1988 and 1992. While with the Sixers, Barkley was a force underneath the glass, and his aggressiveness oftentimes got him into fights with players such as Bill Laimbeer, Patrick Ewing, Shaquille O'Neal, and Charles Oakley. During the 1991-92 NBA season, his last in Philadelphia, Barkley wore number 32 instead of 34 in honor of Magic Johnson, who had announced prior to the start of the season that he was HIV-positive. The 76ers had retired the number 32 in honor of Billy Cunningham, who un-retired it for Barkley to wear. Following Johnson's announcement, Barkley also rebuked himself for having made fun of people for having HIV. Responding to concerns that players may contract HIV by contact with Johnson, Barkley commented flippantly: "We're just playing basketball. It's not like we're going out to have unprotected sex with Magic." After the 1991-92 season, fed up with what he felt was management's unwillingness to do what it took to win, Barkley demanded a trade. He was traded to the Phoenix Suns for Jeff Hornacek, Tim Perry and Andrew Lang. In between being drafted and traded, Barkley became a household name, and he was one of a few NBA players to have a figure published by Kenner's Starting Lineup toy line and also have his own signature shoe line by Nike, Inc.. But he also became involved in a few scandals, notoriously a fight with Detroit Pistons center Bill Laimbeer in 1990. He averaged 24.3 points per game while with the 76ers.
After joining Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and friend Michael Jordan for the 1992 United States Dream Team (basketball) that won the gold medal at the 1992 Summer Olympics, Barkley joined the Phoenix Suns, where he joined Kevin Johnson and Dan Majerle. Barkley became the centerpiece of the Suns and led the team to the league-best season record and trip to the 1993 NBA Finals, scoring 25 points per game and becoming one of the most popular players ever among Suns fans. After the season he was named NBA MVP. At the Finals, Barkley and the Suns lost to Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and the Chicago Bulls in six games, after Barkley had told Jordan that it was destiny for the Suns to win the championship. Barkley would never again return to the Finals. In 1994, Barkley again was part of a Suns team that many expected to win the NBA Championship but despite holding a 2-0 lead early in the series they lost the Western semi-finals in seven games to the eventual champion Houston Rockets. In 1995, the Suns suffered exactly the same fate in the playoffs as the year before losing again in seven games to the eventual champion Rockets. This time they lost despite having a 3-1 lead in the series. In 1996, Barkley and the Suns struggled to a 41-41 record and missed the playoffs. After the season Barkley was a member of the gold medal winning American team at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.
Barkley was then traded to the Houston Rockets, where he joined Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, and for one season, Scottie Pippen in their quest to win championships. However, Olajuwon had already won two (1994, 1995), Drexler one in 1995, and Pippen six, leading people to believe that Barkley was the only one who was really trying. Barkley got into a media altercation with Pippen over this issue. His first season (1996-97) was their most successful during this period. The Rockets started a scorching 21-2 and made it all the way to the Conference Finals before losing to the Utah Jazz in 6 games. After this however the Rockets would stumble and not make it past the first round of the playoffs for the remainder of Barkley's time in Houston. As a member of the Rockets, Barkley faced back injury problems, which ultimately led to his retirement in 2000. His last year in the NBA, he averaged 14 points a game over 19 games before tearing his left quadriceps tendon completely away from his kneecap during a game on December 8, 1999 in Philadelphia, where Barkley started his career. He was told by doctors that he would never play again in the NBA, but was able to come back a little over four months later, for exactly one game, in front of Houston's home fans on April 19, 2000 against the Memphis Grizzlies. Barkley scored a basket on an offensive rebound and Putback#Putback_and_Tip-in, a trademark of his career. Barkley retired immediately after that game. During his career in the NBA, Barkey totalled 23,757 points for an average of 23 points per game, and 12,546 rebounds, for an average of 11.7 rebounds per game. He was an All-Star nine times. Barkley ranked #19 in SLAM Magazine magazine's Top 75 NBA Players of all time in 2003.
Barkley came to league as a great rebound (basketball), despite his lack of height. He compensated by being extremely tenacious for rebounds, having great jumping ability, quickness and strength, and a knack for knowing where the ball bounces. In his career, Barkley developed into an offensive force, using his strength to overpower smaller defenders and quickness against taller defenders. He scored many points from offensive rebounds, making Putback#Putback_and_Tip-in and Putback#Putback_and_Tip-in. Barkley also possessed all-around skills such as ball-handling and passing usually associated for a guard. While Barkley often made crucial defensive plays such as a last-minute steal or block, he was often criticized for being a below average defender. He was also criticized for attempting too many three-point field goal at a below-par percentage. Barkley has an effective low-post game where he slowly backs down his opponent using his strength, to score from close range or pass to an open teammate if double teamed. He was one of the proponents of this slow playing style, which enticed the NBA to create a rule called the 5-second violation. This rule is sometimes unofficially called "the Charles Barkley rule".
He also went one-on-one with Godzilla in the Nike, Inc. commercial (and a tie-in comic published by Dark Horse Comics). Barkley appeared in several fast food commercials starring Larry Bird and Michael Jordan. Bird and Jordan would play an outrageous game of horse (game), performing impossible shots. Barkley would appear at the end of the commercial begging the other two to let him play. They would walk away, eating the fast food, while Barkley would follow behind, whining. He appeared alongside Michael Jordan in the hit movie Space Jam. He also had a tiny cameo in the movie Hot Shots! and Look Who's Talking Now. He hosted the season premiere of the long-running NBC late night comedy show "Saturday Night Live" on September 25, 1993, with musical guest Nirvana (band). (Barkley and Nirvana's lead singer, Kurt Cobain, share the same birthday). During his SNL performance, Barkley participated in a parody of his earlier Godzilla commercial. In the skit, he faced off against children's show celebrity Barney the Purple Dinosaur in a matchup humorously billed as "Barkley vs Barney". Charles Barkley now works as an analyst in the TNT - Overtime. He appeared in Accolade (video game publisher)'s Barkley: Shut Up and Jam, a 2-on-2 basketball game for the Sega Genesis and SNES that takes place in the streets and in the basketball arena. Most recently, he made a cameo in the final episode of Chappelle's Show. The sketch made light of the awkwardness of having sex with the television on. Barkley appeared in a thought sequence of comedian Dave Chappelle, who was embracing a female doll in a sexual position.
Role model question
In 1993, Barkley was featured in a controversial Nike television commercial, which centered on him saying the phrase, "I am not a role model". This sparked great public debate about the nature of role models and who should and should not be a role model. Barkley later said that he was glad that he could help bring this topic to a public forum. Thirteen years later, on May 23, 2006, ESPN Classic aired The Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame... episode on Charles Barkley for saying he was not a role model. Their list was: 5) Dan Quayle had recently made his controversial statements about televised "role models" after television character Murphy Brown had become a single mother. Charles Barkley was merely acting as the other side of what was at the time a hot-button cultural debate. 4) Parents Are Passing The Buck - Some statistics show that between 1965 and 1995, working Americans had 6 hours of leisure time per week. A common cultural critique at the time was that that small amount of time was spent in front of the television set, as the TV became a surrogate parent. 3) Nike, Inc. - It was Nike's ad, to begin with. Nike at the time had a reputation for showcasing the more personal, cerebral side of professional athletes. 2) Don't Be Like Mike - According to the Chicago Tribune's Sam Smith, Barkley was the Anti-Michael Jordan. Barkley's "not a role model" aura was just part of his marketing. 1) He Really Wasn't a Role Model - Although many fans believed Barkley's candor made him one of the NBA's most lovable players, his behavior occasionally backed up his claims, like in a game in the 1991-92 season where he (intending to spit on a fan irritating him) accidentally spat on a 9-year old girl in Philadelphia, and an incident in Rochester, New York in which he threw a man through a window.
During his stint as a member of the Suns, Barkley was controversial and outspoken. He was rumored to have dated Madonna (entertainer) (he harkened on those rumors in Space Jam!), and he became a favorite of late-night Television talk shows. He published a pair of equally controversial books ( Outrageous! and Sir Charles: The Wit And Wisdom of Charles Barkley, the former notable for Barkley's claim that he was misquoted in his own autobiography), and he was rumored to plan to run for Governor of Alabama. Barkley was involved in many lawsuits. In addition, he and Phoenix Suns owner Jerry Colangelo became involved in a public dispute during Barkley's final season with the team. On March 30, 2001, Barkley's number 34 jersey was retired by the 76ers. On March 20, 2004, in a game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Barkley's jersey was retired by the Suns, as he joined Connie Hawkins, Tom Chambers, Dan Majerle, and Kevin Johnson in the "Suns Ring of Honor". Barkley was also involved in a notorious incident involving a fan, who filed a lawsuit against him. According to a citizen, he threw a man through a glass window during an altercation at a Orlando, Florida restaurant. When asked if he had any regrets about throwing the man through the window, Barkley said, "I regret we weren't on a higher floor."
Inside the NBA
Barkley now works as a studio analyst on Inside The NBA for Turner Network Television and plays at celebrity golf tournaments. Charles Barkley has maintained his popularity from his playing days with his colorful analysis on the hit TNT television show of Inside the NBA. The show has also won Emmy awards and has become renowned for Barkley's blunt yet humorous analysis. Barkley was also the center of controversy regarding up-and-coming Yao Ming. When Yao was drafted as the #1 first-round pick, he initially met with a lot of disbelief and disdain. Barkley declared, "He's just not ready yet" and also said that he was the "best player in Houston." He even said that he would "kiss Kenny Smith's ass" if Yao scored 20 points in a game. Yao scored 20 points in his first game against the Los Angeles Lakers. An embarrassed Barkley kissed a donkey's behind on national television.
In an interview with ESPN's Trey Wingo on May 3, 2006, Barkley revealed that he has lost approximately $10 million through gambling. Barkley was already known to be a heavy gambler, but the scope of his losses was not known until the interview.
Barkley, who spoke proudly for many years of his Republican Party affiliation, was once rumored to be a possible G.O.P. candidate for Alabama's governorship.http://www.rollingstone.com/nationalaffairs/?p=323 "I was a Republican until they lost their minds," he said. "The word 'conservative' means 'discriminatory,' practically. It's a form of political discrimination. What do the Republicans run on? Against gay marriage and for a war that makes no sense. A war that was based on faulty intelligence. That's all they ever talk about. That and immigration. Another discriminatory argument for political gain."http://www.travelgolf.com/blogs/chris.baldwin/2006/07/17/charles_barkley_john_mellencamp_right_co. At a July 2006 meeting of the Southern Regional Conference of the National School Boards Association in Destin, Florida, Barkley lent credence to the idea of his running for Governor of Alabama: "I'm serious. I've got to get people to realize that the government is full of it. Republicans and Democrats want to argue over stuff that's not important, like gay marriage or the war in Iraq or illegal immigration. ... When I run - if I run - we're going to talk about real issues like improving our schools, cleaning up our neighborhoods of drugs and crime and making Alabama a better place for all people."http://www.al.com/news/birminghamnews/index.ssf?/base/news/1153906206247070.xml&coll=2&thispage=1 In September 2006, Barkley reinterated his desire to run for Governor. ""I can't run until 2014," he said. "I have to live there for seven years, so I'm looking for a house there as we speak." And he said he is an independent, not a Democrat as previously reported. "The Republicans are full of it," Barkley said. "The Democrats are a little less full of it."http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=2576203
In 2000, Barkley wrote the foreword for Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly's book "The Life of Reilly." In it Barkley quipped, "Of all the people in sports I'd like to throw through a plate glass window, Reilly's not one of them. It's a shame though, skinny white boy looks real aerodynamic." In 2002, Barkley released the book " I May Be Wrong, But I Doubt It", which included editing and commentary by close friend Michael Wilbon. In 2005, Barkley released " Who's Afraid of a Large Black Man?", which is a collection of interviews with leading figures in entertainment, business, sports, and government.
Courtesy of: http://www.wikipedia.org/