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Charles Barkley

(Sir Charles picture)(Barkley's Picture) At six foot six, noone would expect Sir Charles to be one of the two (along with Karl Malone) dominant power forwards in the game, but he is. He recently joined an elite group of players who have scored 20,000 points and collected 10,000 rebounds, the tenth player to reach that mark. Even more impressive, he is one of only 4 players to reach 20,000 points, 10,000 rebound and 3,500 assists. Kareem, Wilt and Elgin Baylor are the other 3 to reach this plateau. Barkley has a unique body build. He can bang with the best power forwards, but it seems like he is best built to play small forward. His size, a generous 6-6, allows him to also score on the perimeter, beating bigger men off the dribble AND burying a long range jumper. He can also assume the role that Scottie Pippen defined, a point forward.

At Auburn he was the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year in 1984. He came out of college after his junior year to join the Philadelphia Sixers where he spent eight years toiling away trying to win a title, but to no avail. He was named to the All-Rookie team in 1985. In 1992 he was traded to Phoenix for Jeff Hornacek, Tim Perry and Andrew Lang. With the Suns he has come close to winning that prize, playing in the NBA Finals, but he has come up empty in his quest for the ring, losing in 6 games to Chicago. Even though the Suns teams he played with were talent laden, with the likes of Kevin Johnson, Dan Majerle, Danny Ainge and Danny Manning, Barkley came up short. The Suns never made another decent run at it, as Charles was plagued with a nagging back injury, and the team lost some of its stars. Also, Phoenix just couldn't seem to win a title without a dominant, or at least a legitimate, NBA center.

Known for rebounding and scoring, Barkley is also an excellent passer out of the double team. He is infamous as much for his attitude as for his playing ability, no one can argue with his ability to dominant a game, and rack up impressive stats while playing as a part of a team. Out of the last 12 seasons he has been named to an All-NBA squad 11 times. The First Team five times (1988 to 1991, 1993), the Second Team five times (1986, 1987, 1992, 1994, 1995) and to the Third Team in 1996. He was also named to the NBA All-Interview Team in both 1996 and 1997. He won the league MVP award in 1993, and also an Olympic Gold Medal with Dream Team I. He returned to the Olympics in 1996 with Dream Team III, hoping to put the Angolan incident behind him, but still being Sir Charles and saying that he would save the rough play for the foreign countries and not the US College Team. Barkley is an 11 time all-star (1987-1997) and was the AS Game MVP in 1991. He was also the top western conference vote getter in 1996 and 1997 (1,877,232 votes). He is the active career field goal percentage leader at .555, and has recently added the three to his impressive arsenal of weapons. Sir Charles recorded a career high 47 points on February 9, 1988 against Atlanta. Although he doesn't chalk up as many 40+ point games as Michael, Sir Charles can still take over a game.

Barkley was traded to the Houston Rockets in August 1996 for Robert Horry, Sam Cassel, Chucky Brown and Mark Bryant. Maybe now he can win his NBA title teamed with other Dream Team teammates Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon. When he is not banging the boards, he can be seen beating Godzilla in commercials, threatening to retire, and planning his campaign to run for the governor of Alabama. Charles, like Michael, enjoys playing golf. In fact the two have been known to play together on occasion, most notably, during meet the press day on All-Star Weekend. The two swallowed a fine on that one. Barkley plays on the Celebrity Golf Association Tour. He also has two books: Outrageous and Wit and Wisdom of Charles Barkley. I'm not sure if Barkley has mellowed over the years, or if people have become accustomed to his off the cuff remarks, but it seems that The Round Mound of Profound has almost developed into a role model...two naughty words from Sir Charles past.

Stats:              PPG       RPG         APG       BlkPG 
College            14.1       9.6         1.6        1.7
Rookie             14.0       8.6         1.9        1.0
1985-86            20.0      12.8         3.9        1.6
1986-87            23.0      14.6         4.9        1.5
1987-88            28.3      11.9         3.2        1.3
1988-89            25.8      12.5         4.1        0.8
1989-90            25.2      11.5         3.9        0.6
1990-91            27.6      10.1         4.2        0.5
1991-92            23.1      11.1         4.1        0.6
1992-93            25.6      12.2         5.1        1.0
1993-94            21.6      11.2         4.6        0.6
1994-95            23.0      11.1         4.1        0.7
1995-96            23.2      11.6         3.7        0.8
1996-97            19.2      13.5         4.7        0.5
Career (thru '97)  23.1      11.7         4.0        0.9

Sir Charles is one of the most quotable players in NBA History. And he always says something that will provoke debate and a little ire with some fans. Here are some highlights of quotable Charles over the years.

Source: Barkley Quotes 

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