Charles Barkley put Michael Jordan on some highlight reels during their first meeting against each other in the NBA.
There’s little doubting the fact that Charles Barkley was one of the greatest players of all time. He’s certainly a top-3 player to have never won an NBA championship, and one of the few MVPs with that misfortune.
During his peak playing days, Barkley was a true force to be reckoned with on the interior. Standing barely 6’4.5″, the Alabama native dominated the league while playing as a power forward.
Barkley was able to do literally everything on the court when he wanted to. His rim protection and help defense weren’t necessarily always there, but he had every other aspect of the game sorted.
When Barkley took off on the fast break or got the ball down low in the post, it was curtains for opponents. They might as well let Barkley take an open dunk for as much as they could’ve affected the Sixers legend’s transition play.
Now Barkley was immensely talented, as everyone knew when he came into the league. However, he weighed an unhealthy 300+ pounds before he was drafted by Philly. Despite this, he showed off his hops in his first-ever game against the no. 3 pick in 1984 – one Michael Jordan.
Charles Barkley dunked on Michael Jordan in their first NBA meeting
Barkley was a member of a Sixers team that had agonizingly missed the NBA Finals in 1984 after their 1983 championship. He was a little deep into their rotation, which consisted of the likes of Julius Erving and Moses Malone at the time. It is a mark of how good the Sixers’ talent was at the time that Chuck rode the bench.
This meant that he would only get 14 minutes of playing time in a game during his first month as a rookie. Barkley ended up with 2 points in 109-100 win for the Sixers. But those 2 points would be quite memorable for some fans.
Barkley received the post on the right side of the floor at the low post with MJ guarding him. He faked towards the baseline and send Michael Jordan flying one way before taking the ball to the rack HARD.
Jordan and his Bulls would go on to turn the tables on the Sixers in the years to come. Philly couldn’t replace Julius Erving and Moses Malone effectively despite the emergence of Charles Barkley as an MVP candidate.
Soon, Chuck would be packing his bags and initiating a trade away from Philly to Phoenix. He’d go on to lead the Suns to their second Finals appearance before being beaten by Jordan’s Bulls.