Charles Barkley said it was one of the worst nights of his life. In 2016 he was talking with Bill Simmons about the 92/93 season and one of the most significant duels in the history of the NBA Finals.
Ever since he entered the NBA as a rookie, Barkey thought he was the best player in the league. Barkley would always argue Jordan had better teammates than him, which led to Jordan winning numerous NBA championships. After he left the Sixers in 1992, Barley went confident he found the right team when he joined the Suns, who already had a nice group of players on their roster.
“Look, I’m the best basketball player in the world. Dan Majerle, Kevin Johnson. These are the teammates I needed. This year we go to the Finals. ‘You know Michael is waiting for you there,’ Fitzsimmons answered to me. I think I’m better than Jordan.Charles Barkley
‘We’ll see you when you get there.’ Fitzsimmons told me.
After having the best regular-season record and Barkley winning the MVP that season, everything was set for a finals series that will finally prove who was the best player in the world. Barkley said he and the rest of his teammates felt nervous before the first game, which resulted in their struggles early from the field.
“We came to the Finals and played the first game. We felt very nervous, we were struggling in the field. The pressure ate some players in the team. I played solidly, but I think some of the players were too nervous.”Charles Barkley
After losing Game 1, Barkley’s daughter asked him whether he will be able to win the second game. Chuck made a promised he would do his best, which he did, but they were once again outmatched by Jordan and the rest of that Bulls squad.
“Before the second game I talked to my daughter, she asked me:Charles Barkley
‘Dad, you never lied to me. Will you win today?
Your dad is the best basketball player in the world. I’ll dominate them today and win the title.’
And I remember. I think I scored 46 or 47 points, I played great (Barkley scored 42, but it does not matter). But Michael scored 42 points, had 12 rebounds, and 9 assists! And I came back home that night and saw my daughter crying, and she told me:
‘Daddy, you lost again.’
‘I think Michael Jordan is better than me.’
‘But Dad, you never said that before.’
‘I never felt this way before.’”
In 1993 NBA Finals, Michael Jordan, who averaged a Finals-record 41.0 PPG during the six-game series, became the first player in NBA history to win three straight Bill Russell NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Awards.