Charles Barkley is an unforgettable part of basketball history. Kyrie Irving made sure to pay his tribute to the Suns legend in an interview.
Very few current NBA fans were alive to watch Charles Barkley play basketball. The 1990s are basically an entire generation removed from youngsters who’ve grown up in the social media era.
So for most of us aged 35 and under, Chuck really is the funny guy on NBA pre-game shows. Now to be sure, this is the part of Chuck’s legacy that’ll probably cement his place in basketball lore. But it’s still important to remember how great a basketball player he was.
Barkley stood 6’5″ barefoot during his playing days, but was still one of the most dominant post players ever. The NBA even instituted a rule specifically to prevent him from taking advantage of defenders by backing them down every possession.
Barkley played for 16 years and made the NBA Finals in 1993 at his peak. This was when his Suns had homecourt advantage against Michael Jordan’s Bulls. This series had 6 close games, but MJ’s mind-boggling 41 points per game average swayed it Chicago’s way.
Kyrie Irving paid tribute to Charles Barkley for leading Phoenix Suns to the 1993 NBA Finals
Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum were guests on one of the most entertaining episodes of the Knuckleheads podcast ever. This interview took place during the 2018-19 season, which was a tumultuous one for most Celtics fans.
Tatum and Kyrie are still as tight as ever despite the latter’s departure to his hometown Brooklyn Nets. Irving acted as Tatum’s mentor on the Celtics during his time in Boston, and thus the two decided to do this interview together.
With the interview set to finish out, Q-Rich asked Kyrie a few ‘rapid-fire’ questions. They were themed on the premise of ’90s vs today’, and one of the intriguing questions that Q asked was regarding Charles Barkley – whether the Round Mound of Rebound was better back then, versus today.
Kyrie, as an active player and star of a team, opted to go with the 90s version of Chuck:
“Shoutout to Chuck. He was better in the 90s. Because Round Mound, man, when he got that MVP in 93, played against MJ. He was just special then. He went to Phoenix that year and took them to the Finals.”
“Robin Powell showed me a lot of stories about Chuck, you know, how he was as a career player and what he did. And how he accomplished all that, he was just better back then.”