There are very few people in the basketball and media related to the game close to being as charismatic as Charles Barkley. The Round Mound of Rebound was a beast on the court, one of the best. And he somehow only got better after his retirement, joining the Inside The NBA crew on TNT and helping turn it into one of the best basketball shows ever.
Barkley has lived his life the way he wanted to, his intensity on the court is matched by his candor off of it. And while that's what makes him so lovable, it's what has gotten him into trouble at times. Barkley famously said that he wasn't a role model for children, a statement that didn't go over very well with people. And in 2010, he spoke about his gambling to GQ magazine, saying he would keep doing it even if it wasn't the best look in public.
[In 2006, Barkley said his lifetime gambling losses were "probably $10 million."] Yeah, I like to gamble. And I'm going to keep gambling. And I just have to tell people, if they don't like it, they can kiss my a**. F**k 'em. You know, I quit gambling for a while. But then I was like, "Why am I quitting gambling? I don't have a problem."
For most people, $10 million would be a lot of money to lose, but over his life as an NBA superstar and media personality, he's made enough money not to worry about it. The 90s superstars had a lot of questions asked about gambling habits, especially Michael Jordan, but it seems that they were just doing what they wanted to.
There is a larger conversation to be had about whether celebrities should be open about their vices, but Barkley has never been one to apologize for who he is. It would be interesting to know if his opinion on this has changed in the last decade. However, this one quote from back in the day shows exactly the kind of person Barkley is and what makes him so great.