Charles Wade Barkley is a former professional basketball player who presently serves as one of the hosts of the ‘Inside the NBA’ television show. Barkley, regarded as one of the NBA’s most dominant players, played professionally for 16 years, appearing for three different NBA teams: the Philadelphia 76ers, the Phoenix Suns, and the Houston Rockets. Barkley became interested in basketball as a child and continued to play into high school. Despite his strong record, he did not receive much attention from college scouts until the state high school semi-finals, when his performance earned him a scholarship to Auburn University. Barkley went on to play three seasons of college football before declaring for the NBA Draft in 1984. He was named to the All-NBA First Team five times, the All-NBA Second Team five times, and the All-NBA Third Team once throughout his illustrious career. He was voted the NBA’s Most Valuable Player of the Season in 1993. He won two gold medals with the national team in the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics, as well as one gold medal at the 1992 FIBA Americas Championship. He left the league in 2000 and has since created a solid career as an NBA analyst.
Childhood and Adolescence
Charles Barkley was born in Leeds, Alabama, on February 20, 1963, to Charcey Glenn and Frank Barkley. John Glenn Barkley and Darryl Barkley are his two siblings. He was greatly influenced by his surroundings as a child and, like any other adolescent, acquired an interest in basketball. He began to show his ability not long after.
He went to Leeds High School for his education. He was sent to the reserve team as a junior after failing to find a berth on the varsity team due to his size (he stood at 5 ft. 10 in and weighed 220 pounds). He did, however, grow six inches in one summer and became a starter on the varsity team during his senior year.
He led his team to the state semi-finals with an average of 19.1 points and 17.9 rebounds per game as a senior.
Despite his significant improvements, he was unable to entice any scouts’ attention. This changed after he scored 26 points against Butler High School’s Bobby Lee Hurt in the state high school semi-finals.
At the game, one of Auburn University’s assistant coaches, Sonny Smith, was present. He was so astonished that he described Barkley as “a huge guy… who can play like the wind.” “..
Career in College
In 1981, Charles Barkley enrolled at Auburn University to study business administration. Smith made him an immediate member of Auburn’s basketball team, the Auburn Tigers.
Barkley struggled with weight control during his undergraduate career, as he would later in his professional career. He did, however, flourish on the court, averaging 14.8 points on 68.2 percent field goal shooting, 9.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.7 blocks per game after three years.
In 1984, he made his only appearance in the NCAA Tournament, scoring 23 points on 80 percent shooting, 17 rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks. Auburn retired his number 34 jersey on March 3, 2001, about a year after he retired from professional basketball.
Many years after he graduated from Auburn, there were some concerns surrounding his time there. Barkley admitted in 2010 that he had asked and received money from sports agents.
“Why can’t an agent lend me some money and I’ll pay him back after I graduate?” he asked, defending himself by stating the money he requested from the agencies was “chump change.”” He has now claimed to have repaid all of the money he received after signing his first NBA deal.
A Professional Life
Charles Barkley did not play for Auburn during his final year. Instead, he declared himself eligible for the NBA draft in 1984. He was eventually selected as the fifth pick in the first round by the Philadelphia 76ers. That season, the 76ers featured a team that was primarily made up of veterans. While they won the World Series in 1983, they struggled in the 1983-84 season.
Barkley established an almost protégé-mentor relationship with Moses Malone, the renowned basketball player who was crowned MVP three times. Malone assisted him in overcoming his weight problems and showed him how to prepare and condition himself for a game.
Barkley appeared in 82 games in his first season as a professional basketball player, starting 60 of them, and averaging 14.0 points per game. Barkley appeared in 13 games for the 76ers in the playoffs, starting two of them, and averaging 14.9 points per game.
Barkley’s game developed dramatically under Malone’s tutelage during the 1985-86 season. He started all 80 games he played in during the regular season, averaging 20.0 points per game. Barkley appeared in 12 games throughout the playoffs, averaging 25 points per game.
He was the starting power forward for the 76ers. Despite the fact that they were lost in the Eastern Conference Semifinals by the Milwaukee Bucks, Barkley’s performance earned him a position on the All-NBA Second Team.
The 76ers traded Malone to the Washington Bullets in the months preceding up to the start of the 1986-87 season, forcing Barkley to take over as the team’s de facto leader on the court. He performed a fantastic job.
He appeared in 68 games for the 76ers in his third season, starting 62 of them and averaging 23.0 points and 14.6 rebounds per game. In the playoffs, he appeared in five games and averaged 24.6 points per game. He also made the NBA All-Star team for the first time this season.
Julius Erving retired at the start of the following season, and Barkley became the 76ers’ new franchise player. When he scored 41 points, 22 rebounds, five assists, and six steals in a 114-106 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on November 30, 1988, he became the first player in league history to record a 40-point, 20-rebound, five-assist, and five-steal performance.
This season, Barkley also had the greatest average points per game (28.3) of his career in the regular season. In the playoffs, he continued his strong play, but they were only able to play five games before being eliminated.
Barkley remained with the 76ers until the 1991-92 season. He had already established himself as a household figure across the country by the time he was moved to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Jeff Hornacek, Tim Perry, and Andrew Lang, but as future events would show, the best years of his basketball career were still to come.
On November 7, 1992, he made his Suns debut against the Los Angeles Clippers. He led the Suns to a 111-105 victory with 37 points, 21 rebounds, and eight assists. He appeared in 76 games during the regular season, starting all of them, and averaging 25.6 points per game.
In the playoffs, he appeared in 24 games, starting all of them, and averaging 26.6 points per game. He took his club to the NBA finals, but they were defeated by Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. Barkley won the Most Valuable Player award in 1993 for his efforts.
He remained with the Suns for three more seasons before being transferred to the Houston Rockets in 1996. His first season with the Rockets did not go as planned due to a slew of ailments. The second season was similar to the first. Regardless, he continued to perform effectively and guided his club to the playoffs. This was his final appearance in the postseason.
Barkley retired from the NBA after the 1999-2000 season. He played in 20 games, starting 18 of them, and averaging 14.5 points per game. In a game against the 76ers on December 8, 1999, he ruptured his left quadriceps.
It appeared that his career was over after this injury. Barkley, though, did not want the injury to be the end of his career, so he returned for one more match. He played in a home game against the Vancouver Grizzlies on April 19, 2000, capping up an impressive career as an athlete.
Career Opportunities on the Global Stage
At the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Barkley was a member of the US “Dream Team.” They won the gold medal in the men’s final by defeating Croatia. Barkley was also a member of the United States team that won the gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. The 1992 FIBA Americas Championship was likewise won by the “Dream Team.”
Since his retirement, Charles Barkley has established himself as a well-respected pundit and analyst, as well as a part of the ‘Inside the NBA’ crew. He has worked for Turner Network Television (TNT) and is a member of their pre-game and halftime expert panel. He also makes appearances at NBA events. He started presenting ‘American Race’ on TNT in May 2017.
While Barkley had previously identified as a Republican, he disclosed his true identity as an Independent during a broadcast on Monday Night Football in 2014. He voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential election.
He is a strong advocate for LGBT rights. He told reporters in October 2008 that he intended to run for Governor of Alabama in 2014, but opted not to do so in 2010.
Personal Experiences of Charles Barkley
In the 1980s, Charles Barkley met his future wife Maureen Blumhardt at a City Avenue Restaurant. She was a part-time model and a legal aide for a non-profit organization in Bucks County, Pennsylvania at the time. Christiana, their daughter, was born in 1989, the same year they married.
Barkley is one of the few true legends of the game who has never won an NBA title. He is regarded as one of the most contentious, opinionated, and dominant players in basketball history.
He was a firm believer that athletes should not be viewed as role models throughout his career. Instead of looking on him to raise their children, he encouraged parents and teachers that they should be role models for their children.
On March 26, 1991, while playing for the Philadelphia 76ers against the New Jersey Nets (now the Brooklyn Nets) in New Jersey, an audience member began shouting racial obscenities at him.
Barkley retaliated by spitting on the individual, but it fell on a small child. He was then fined $10,000 and suspended for one game without pay. Barkley expressed regret and offered his condolences to the girl and her family. They became friends over time, and he would frequently bring them tickets to games.
Barkley was sentenced to ten days in jail and a $2,000 fine in February 2009 for two DUI-related charges and one offense of running a red light.
Barkley’s book, ‘I May Be Wrong, But I Doubt It,’ was released by Random House in 2002.
Estimated Net Worth
Throughout his life, he has held a variety of positions. He went from being a professional basketball player to authoring his own book. His entire net worth is estimated to be around $100 million, despite the lack of information about his residences and assets. However, at this time, no further information on his income is available.