Charles Barkley is known to be one of the greatest players in NBA history. He's certainly one of the greatest power forwards, but the one negative about his resume is the lack of a championship.
Barkley had a great career, and he was on some good teams, but only once did he make it to the NBA Finals. Most fans know that Barkley's Suns faced off against Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls in the 1993 NBA Finals.
These fans almost certainly remember that Jordan's Bulls defeated Barkley's Suns 4-2 on a John Paxson game-winning three. The question I have is, 'do fans remember the incredible performance by Barkley that earned the Suns a spot in the 1993 NBA Finals?'
Charles Barkley's Incredible Game 7 Performance
The Phoenix Suns played the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1993 Western Conference Finals. Barkley already had an incredible performance in Game 5 where he scored 43 points while grabbing 15 rebounds and handing out 10 assists to complete the playoff triple-double.
This was an all-time great performance, but what Barkley did in the more pressured, due-or-die Game 7, just may have beaten it. The series was on the line with a chance to make the NBA Finals, and Barkley was coming off a terrible Game 6 where he only scored 13 points.
The SuperSonics, led by Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp, were poised to reach their first NBA Finals, but Barkley had other plans.
Charles Barkley looked like a man playing against a group of boys in Game 7. It didn't matter who was guarding Barkley, he would not be denied in this game.
Barkley bullied the SuperSonics players down low and he took them out to the mid-range. He showed the world why he was named the 1992-93 MVP of the regular season.
Barkley poured in 44 points and 24 rebounds. He shot 12-20 from the field and 19-22 from the free-throw line.
“I made up my mind to take over at the beginning of the third quarter,” Barkley said after the game. “They've been killing us in the third quarter, the whole series.”
Barkley's teammate, Danny Ainge, had this to say about Barkley's incredible performance:
“Charles Barkley is, I don’t know how to explain it, other than to say he’s a man. He manhandled those guys tonight. What do people call Shawn Kemp? The man-child? Charles is just a man.”
After the Game 7 victory, Barkley was asked about his thoughts about facing the Bulls in the NBA Finals:
“I'm not thinking about the Bulls. Right now, I'm going to go home, get a six-pack of beer, sit in my Jacuzzi and have some fun.”
Barkley was never bashful about “telling it like it is”. This, along with his incredible performance in Game 7, has made him one of the most likable NBA players, as well as one of the greatest players of all time.
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