We may know Charles Barkley now as a funny, speak-his-mind NBA tv analyst, but there was a time when he was dominating the NBA at the highest level. With career stats of 22 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game on 54% shooting, it’s clear that Chuck should be recognized as nothing less than an ALl-Time great basketball player.
Of course, with such a title comes a lot of stories, and Barkley was kind enough to share one regarding the aftermath of a Lakers trade that fell through. Here’s what he told Zach Lowe on “The Lowe Post” podcast:
“My agent calls me one morning and he says ‘hey, you’re going to get traded to the Lakers today. And me and my friends, we go out and celebrate and get drunk around noon…. He calls me later and says ‘hey you’ve been traded to the Lakers, they’re going to finalize the deal and I’ll get back to you.’
“I’m on cloud nine, he calls me back three hours later, it’s like 3:30 now, he says ‘the Sixers backed out of the deal.’ And I’m drunk as [bleeped expletive] and we got a game that night, and I’m like ‘what? What are you talking about?’ And he’s like ‘the Sixers were scared to pull the trigger.’ So I’m like ‘you’re kidding me, dude we got a game tonight and I’ve been drinking since noon.’ The one thing that’s funny, I don’t even know how I played that night. I think I might have played so bad because I was so angry the Sixers didn’t pull the trigger, and then it’s just suffering the next two or three years.”
He was ultimately traded to Phoenix the very next season, so his misery didn’t last too long. And while he ultimately failed to win a Championship with any of his teams, he had stellar career — one that gave him amazing stories like this to tell.
In regards to the “alcohol game,” we can’t exactly track down his stats from that night considering we don’t know the date. But it’s fair to say it wasn’t his best performance.