Charles Barkley has never been afraid to voice his opinion and his displeasure was evident from his comments about summer basketball.
Charles Barkley spent the first half of his NBA career with the Philadelphia 76ers and was a six time All-Star and seven time All NBA player. However when it came to playing in the summer, Barkley wasn’t in favor of it. He said,
“Played in three charity games, and that was about it for basketball. Summer ball’s too much of a letdown for me. Always has been. One day you’re playing against Larry Bird in Boston Garden, next day you’re playing against Sam Sausagehead on some playground.”
Pat Croce, who then was the strength coach of the 76ers wanted Barkley to do a some more weightlifting. But Barkley disagreed:
“I lifted exactly one day the last two summers, and I just don’t like it. I’m contemplating it, but I’m scared that it will mess up my game.”
Charles Barkley was reluctant to be the Sixers’ captain
The Philadelphia 76ers drafted Sir Charles with the fifth overall pick in 1984. However the team then was clearly heading towards decline with their icon Julius Erving aka Dr. J entering the twilight of his career.
When Erving’s career came to an end after the 1987-88 season, Barkley was named the co-captain along with Maurice Cheeks. The NBAonTNT host had previously stated he wasn’t sure if he wanted to be the captain of the team.
“I don’t know if I want to (succeed Erving as) captain of this team because none of these guys can take criticism,” he said.
Barkley didn’t possess the typical off-the-court qualities an ideal captain would but on the court he was fearless. John Nash, then the GM of the Sixers understood this very well and made the right choice.
“Many times Charles just says things to put pressure on himself, to force himself to respond to challenges. If you don’t understand Charles’s competitive nature, you don’t understand Charles.”