He has been chosen as the fifth pick in one of NBA’s strongest drafts in history (along with him Olajuwon, Jordan, Stockton were drafted …). He came to the Sixers team with Julius Erving, Moses Malone, Maurice Cheeks, Andrew Toney and Bobby Jones. Charles scored more than solid 14 points and added 8.6 rebounds per game, but in the East Finals Birds Celtics were too strong.
When Dr. J. retired, and Malone was traded to Washington, Barkley became the leader of Sixers. It was an amazing, unprecedented blend of strength, technique and speed. Although only 6’4” tall, he had excellent jumping technique and great desire, and in his third season he became the NBA best jumper, the lowest player in the history that achieved it. The numbers from the season in the season grew and Barkley reached the top of the NBA league.
USA had the best basketball team of all time during 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson were clearly the most popular players, but the secret star of the team was Barkley. He defeated Karl Malone as starting power forward and became the top scorer of the team. In addition, he “shone” on the side again as a proverbial knocker and reaps sympathies that were not given him enough in Philadelphia. Opposite Malone there is the same time the announcement: “There is a new Sheriff in the West.”
In fact, his first season in Phoenix was a single triumph. After battling the best of the best in the summer, Barkley was fitter than ever before, finding a team in Phoenix that already has a talented squad with Kevin Johnson and Dan Majerle and 53 games won in the previous year. With Barkley, the Suns with 62 wins secured the best balance of the league and reached the NBA Finals, after “Chuck Wagon” delivered in the seventh game of the Conference Finals monstrous 44 points and 24 rebounds.
Previously, Barkley’s 25,6 points, 12,2 rebounds and 5,1 assists per game again showed off the whole package of his abilities. He was rewarded with the MVP trophy. In the finals, however, the Chicago Bulls and his friend Michael Jordan were a number too big.
A small consolation: Of all six finals opponents of the Bulls, the Suns were probably the strongest. However, Barkley will never get closer to the NBA title.
Sir Charles is one of the greatest NBA players without an NBA ring, he simply had the misfortune that he played at Michael Jordan’s time, perhaps the best basketball player in the history. At the time of Air Jordan’s temporary retirement, he had a great chance to win the title, but Rockets and Olajuwon were simply better team than the Suns and the injuries prone Barkley. It could be regretted that such a player has not won the NBA title but Chuck will be remembered as one of the best forwards in an NBA history.