Charles Wade Barkley (February 20, 1963-) was one of the most dominant power forwards in the history of the NBA and is the fourth player in NBA history to score 20,000 points, pull down 10,000 rebounds and accumulate 4,000 assists. Though he struggled with his weight throughout his college and professional career, “The Round Mound of Rebound” was the premier rebounder during the 1980s and ‘90s capturing three consecutive offensive rebound crowns (1986-1989). He was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team as well as the All-NBA First and Second Teams, five times each. Charles could be considered a small forward, but his aggressive playing style and unrelenting defense gave him superior power, often outmatching bigger and taller opponents. Listed at 6’6” and weighing in at 252 lbs., Sir Charles produced some of the most spectacular and thunderous dunks to the great pleasure of fans everywhere. Barkley played 16 seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers (1984-1992), the Phoenix Suns (1992-1996) and the Houston Rockets (1996-2000). Charles helped his teams to thirteen playoff appearances with his best season in 1992-93 season, guiding the Suns to the NBA Finals against the Chicago Bulls where they were defeated 4-2. He was named the league’s Most Valuable Player after that 1992-93 season.
The 11-time NBA All-Star selection (named All-Star Game MVP in 1991) finished his career with 23,757 points, 12,546 rebounds and 4,215 assists. Despite making the playoffs 14 of his 16 years, Barkley never won an NBA title, but was a member of the 1992 gold medal winning Barcelona Olympiad Basketball “Dream Team” and the 1996 gold medal winning Atlanta Olympiad Basketball team. Barkley was named to the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History list in 1996. Sir Charles was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. Ever the outspoken character, Charles Barkley is often remembered for his off-court comments and actions, and more specifically when he proclaimed that NBA players and professional athletes should not be considered “role models”, sparking a national debate over the issue. Barkley has made a successful transition to the broadcast booth as a color commentator and has appeared in numerous celebrity events as the fan friendly, gregarious figure that he is. In 2009, Barkley appeared on the Golf Channel in the first ever “The Haney Project”, where a world-renowned golf instructor/coach tried to “fix” Charles’ unique and terrible golf swing. The show was highly successful, but Charles is certainly no role model when it comes to swinging a golf club.