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Charles Barkley wanted to join Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in 1996

Chuck once wanted to be a bus rider instead of a driver, too.
Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan and Phoenix Suns player Charles Barkley

Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley

In 1996, Charles Barkley was in his 13th year in the NBA and 4th season with the Phoenix Suns. He knew that he didn't have much time left in the league, and with no championship hopes in sight, Barkley wanted to move on from the Suns organization.

So that same summer, Barkley made it known that he wanted to jump to a contending team (ironic for someone who classified what a bus driver is in this league) even if it meant giving up more money.

The old generation was just like this generation.

Barkley then informed Suns management that he wanted to join Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, who at that time had just won their 4th championship. According to Sir Charles, his ultimate dream was to play alongside Jordan. Unfortunately, the Bulls didn't have the assets to acquire the Suns forward, so he expanded his choices to the New York Knicks and Houston Rockets instead.

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"Barkley has named the Bulls, Knicks and Rockets as teams he'd play for. The Bulls' problem is they have little other than Toni Kukoc for the Suns to accept. The Knicks appear to have the best shot with three first-round picks this season and a willingness to deal John Starks and Anthony Mason, or Charles Oakley," According to Chicago Tribune's Sam Smith.

Barkley ended up with the Rockets, where he eventually finished his career. However, his goal to win a championship never came to fruition despite that being the reason why he wanted out of the Suns in the first place. Sir Charles had a decent tenure in Houston, where he averaged 16.5 points, 12.2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game in his 4-year stint, but ultimately, father time sneaked up to him before he knew it.

Maybe Charles was just like KD.

Considering what Barkley went through, it's ironic how he nagged Kevin Durant about his inability to lead a team to a championship — when in the first place, that's exactly what Barkley failed to do. At one point, the Hall-of-Famer even said he would sit games off and play golf instead if he didn't get traded to the team he wanted to.

"I would trade money for the right to win a championship," Barkley said. "I'd like to have a shot. If they want to trade me to a team that has a chance, I'll go. If they want to trade me just anywhere, I'll sit home and play golf and see if NBC can use me," Barkley added.

Despite never winning a championship ring, Barkley still made a name for himself in the league and achieved multiple individual awards such as the MVP, 11 All-Star appearances, 11 All-NBA selections, 2 Olympic gold medals, and he's also part of the NBA's All-75 team among others. He may have been a great player, but it was clear that he wanted to also be a bus rider (instead of a driver) once upon a time. 

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