Back in 1984, Charles Barkley along with Utah Jazz legends John Stockton and Karl Malone were shockingly cut off from the USA team representing at 1984 Olympic Games.
The United States of America are the most dominant basketball playing nation for the past several decades. Even though the sport is more worldwide than ever, The USA remains to bee the most successful country in the world. Winning the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games this past summer, The United States has won the gold medal at the prestigious event a whopping 16 out of 20 times, since 1936.
Whenever The USA win gold at the event, it is pretty safe to say that the team manages to win with a huge points difference. Back in 1984 too, a Michael Jordan-led national team emerged victoriously winning all 8 of their games with a huge 257 points differential throughout the tournament.
The entire campaign was a pretty successful and smooth procedure apart from the team selection process. Back in 1983, the 12-man national squad was to be selected out of a group of 70 prospects. Of those talented group of players were 37 future first-round picks, All-Stars and even several Hall-Of-Famers.
John Stockton approached Karl Malone and Charles Barkley to team up and play against the Michael Jordan-led USA team after being cut off
It raised a few eyebrows when one of the best players present there- Charles Barkley, was controversially not selected on the team. Shockingly, Utah Jazz legends John Stockton and Karl Malone too were left out of the squad.
Leaving out Barkley, Stockton and Malone, the final 12 players selected were Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins, Patrick Ewing, Chris Mullin, Wayman Tisdale, Leon Wood, Alvin Robertson, Joe Kleine, Jon Koncak, Jeff Turner, Vern Fleming, Steve Alford, and coached by Bobby Knight.
Despite being a versatile 284-pound beast, Charles was stunningly not selected in the team. The reason? In Sir Charles’ words:
“Bobby Knight had a hidden agenda against me. Because I was the second-best player there, I kinda felt like he didn’t want me there. He didn’t want me on the team. It was a joke.”
According to several sources, Barkley and Knight were two strong personalities who would never see each other eye to eye. On numerous occasions, the two would even get into heated arguments, throwing cuss words at each other, in front of all the prospects at the camp.
Apparently, after being cut off, John Stockton approached Barkley and Malone to team up and take the selected 12 players in a match. An angry, egoistic and hurt group of cut off players against the country’s “best 12”? Well, that would’ve been some pickup game, huh?