Basketball player. Born February 20, 1963 in Leeds, Alabama.With an outspoken personality and unstoppable talent, Barkley has made his mark on the NBA, winning its most valuable player award during the 1992-1993 season. An avid basketball player in high school, Barkley got his break when he won the attention of college scouts who had come to watch his cousin play. He attended Auburn University where the mega-sized player concentrated more on rebounding than scoring, earning the nickname “Round Mound of Rebound.”
After his junior year in 1984, Barkley was drafted into the NBA, joining the Philadelphia 76ers where he made the league’s all-rookie team. Though he was notoriously criticized by his teammates because of inconsistent play and temper tantrums, Barkley came into his own during the 1987-1988 season, when he was named to the All-NBA team for the first of four consecutive years. In 1992, Barkley joined the U.S. “Dream Team” at the Olympics. After helping the team win the gold medal, he was sent to the Phoenix Suns where he won the MVP award.
Sir Charles has become one of the NBA’s most visible players due as much to his talent as to his courtside antics. He was criticized in March of 1991 when he apparently spit at a child. He later explained that he’d meant to hit a fan who was taunting him with racial epithets. Despite a share of negative publicity, his outgoing personality also earned him numerous commercial endorsements.
During a pre-season drill in October of 1993, Barkley collapsed when his legs went numb. Though tests revealed a back injury, he announced a few days later that he would retire after the 1993-1994 season. However, he decided to play after all, and in 1996 he was traded to the Houston Rockets and named one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players in a ceremony marking the league’s 50th anniversary.
After retiring from the NBA, Barkley signed on to do a talk show on TNT in 2003 called Listen Up! He currently works for the network as a studio analyst for Inside the NBA. Barkley has also stated his intention to run for Alabama governor in 2014. His book, I May Be Wrong but I Doubt It, was published in 2002.