Charles Barkley made insensitive comments on an Angolan player in the ‘Dream Team’s’ first game at the Olympics after pushing him.
Regardless of whether or not he’s on NBA hardwood or seated in a swiveling chair breaking games happening around the league, Charles Barkley doesn’t seem to hold anything back. He’s pushed men out of windows, gotten into a more physical on-court altercations than one can remember, and called out San Antonio women for being larger on average.
The 1992 ‘Dream Team’ consisted of such characters all across the roster, with Michael Jordan leading the way. Guys such as Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson, are all known to have an incredible sense of pride while also being ‘quirky’ in terms of having that fiery competitive spirit.
Team USA in 1992 waltzed in the Barcelona Olympics as the heavy favorites to snag Gold. This was, of course, due to the fact that this was the first year in Olympics history that NBA players were allowed on the roster.
Charles Barkley started a chain of events that led to it becoming news on an international scale.
Team USA’s ‘Dream Team’ didn’t disappoint as in their first game as a unit at the 1992 Olympics, they beat Angola by a whopping 68 points as the final score was 116-48. Throughout the egregious blowout, Charles Barkley was getting physical with the stout Angolans, using his size to bully them down in the paint.
In two instances, Chuck pushed and elbowed the players on the African nation’s team, eventually leading to a technical foul being called on him. The tech was called after he elbowed Herlander Coimbra in the chest with a considerable amount of force.
Following the game, Charles Barkley didn’t exactly ease things over as he said, “People told me to hit a fat guy next time, not a skinny one. That guy probably hadn’t eaten in a few weeks.”
This remark was widely insensitive considering the famine that was spreading throughout Angola at the time, along with neighboring African countries. Michael Jordan and the rest of Team USA did eventually talk to Barkley and told him that his comments weren’t smart.
Charles Barkley and Herlander Coimbra become acquainted with another after the incident.
Following the 1992 debacle, Charles Barkley once again ventured to the 1996 Olympics with Team USA and came face-to-face with the man he elbowed 4 years prior, Herlander Coimbra. Coimbra however, accepted the ‘Round Mound of Rebound’s’ apology and the two became acquainted with one another quite quickly.
“Everybody made a big deal about that elbow. I told Coimbra it was nothing personal but ‘You hit me, I had to hit you back.’ He came looking for me in 1996 in Atlanta to say hello. He said, “You made me a big star in my country.’ We had a nice bond, a little friendship ever since then,” said Barkley.