After five full seasons with the Clippers and a 26-game run with the Hawks, Danny Manning signed with the Phoenix Suns. Thus the No.1 pick of the ’88 NBA Draft became a teammate of Charles Barkley, in what he describes as a unique experience playing alongside an all-time great in Chuck.
Playing with Charles is challenging because he brings so much attention to you. You got to make sure you’re on your A-game night in and night out. But it’s also a lot of fun because Charles enjoys himself, and he makes sure his teammates are loose, and he does take a lot of pressure off of his teammates by how he carries himself.Danny Manning, 1-ON-1 with Danny Manning
Manning and Barkley had a two-year run together before Chuck got traded to the Rockets. In those two seasons, the Suns made the playoffs twice but were never able to go further than the second round. Manning’s injuries had a lot to do with that since the 6-10 big-man only played in 79 games over a two-year stretch.
His impact was especially missing in the ’95 Playoffs when the Suns were eliminated by Houston in seven games. Danny, who was the team’s second-leading scorer with 17.9 PPG, was sidelined due to a knee injury, which caused him to miss an entirety of the Suns’ second-round matchup against the Rockets. The Suns made the playoffs once again in ’96 but lost to the San Antonio Spurs in the first round.
Thus ended Manning’s run of playing alongside Barkley, as the latter got traded to Houston. A run that Danny describes as unique since that was the first time he got to play with a superstar caliber player that Charles was. And also, with a personality that Charles was. Because in that sense, no one comes close to Barkley.
What you see on TV is what you get, and that’s how Charles was as a teammate. One thing that people probably don’t know about Charles is he’s got a little bit of clean freak in him. So a lot of times, if he felt like the locker room was dirty, he’d go around picking it up a little bit. I don’t know if some of that was just the way for him to relax or if he was really a clean freak, but he did that quite a bit, and not a lot of people know that.Danny Manning,1-ON-1 with Danny Manning
I guess ‘what you see on TV is what you get‘ really applies to Barkley as a teammate. Never change, Chuck!