He's one of the greatest players to ever play in the NBA. He's a Hall of Famer, 11x All-Star, 1992-93 MVP, 11x All-NBA, and one of the greatest power forwards, as well as rebounders in NBA history.
And yet, for some, Charles Barkley will always be remembered as the president of the NBA's ringless club.
Barkley digs deep on never winning a championship
The closest Chuck got to a championship was in '93, when his 62-win Phoenix Suns made it to the NBA Finals. However, Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls proved to be too much for Barkley who was coming off an MVP-worthy season -- they beat the Suns in six games.
Other than that, Sir Charles never got a taste of another NBA Finals. And looking back on it, nor does he think he should have. For all his individual greatness, Barkley feels he never had the right group around him, despite playing for an aspiring superteam in Houston toward the end of his career.
Barkley is one of many superstars Michael Jordan denied from winning an NBA title -- he led the Bulls to six championships between 1991 and 1998. But unlike most of them, he at least got his shot at him.
"All you wanna do is say, 'I got my shot.' That's all you can ask for," Charles said. "But when some guys say, 'You didn't win a championship,' I'm like, 'Yeah, you know it's not an individual thing?' But man, I gave it all I had. I did the best that I could. And I sleep good at night about what I accomplished in sports."
He's OK with it
NBA titles don't define a career; they define a legacy. But that's not how all players look at it, especially those who feel like they weren't supposed to make it to the NBA in the first place.
Chuck is one of those guys. That's why his legacy goes beyond just his run in the NBA.
"Nobody thought I was gonna be any good," Barkley said. "That's the sh*t that makes me laugh. When I was coming out of highschool I had like five letters. I don't even think nobody out of State Alabama wanted me."
According to Barkley, he was the No.5 ranked player in the state coming out of high school. Being from a small town, nobody was recruiting him but the schools in Alabama. Even after he was drafted fifth overall by the 76ers in 1984, people still questioned how he would transition to the next level.
"When I got to the NBA, they're like, 'He's only a 6-5 power forward, he'll never be successful."
Charles Barkley, The Pivot Podcast
Charles, however, proved all of his doubters wrong. That's why he's ok with not having a championship ring. Beating the odds is good enough for Barkley; being one of the greatest players the NBA has ever seen is just icing on the cake.