He was one of the most dominant power forwards of his era. Charles Barkley was known to “leave it all on the court” every time he laced up his shoes. Barkley played in an era where physical play was allowed and went unseen, which created such a beast in the player that Barkley became. No matter how physical or great he was on the court, a championship season was something that Barkley never experienced. It’s something that has hampered Barkley’s career. Regardless, he was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history.
Barkley predominantly played but was not restricted to the power forward position. He played small forward and center in some situations. What made Barkley so good was that he was a mismatch for the players that guarded his position. You see players do this in today’s game, like a LeBron James, who is able to dominate at multiple positions. Barkley was in the fore front of that player category. He was faster and more versatile than players were used to and created so many fast break situations that the opposition couldn’t keep up with.
Today, we see players who are a “stretch four”, or a player that has the ability to play down low along with perimeter play. Barkley defined that position. Barkley also seems to make power forwards of his size seem soft in today’s game compared to the competition he faced in the 90’s. He was the shortest player to lead the league in rebounding with over 14 rebounds per game. That is a staggering number for any player, let alone a player of Barkley’s height.
Besides his rookie season where he averaged about 9 rebounds, Barkley was a double-double machine as he averaged one every other season in his career. No matter where he was on the floor, Barkley was a player of efficiency, which made him the MVP player that he was known to be.
Barkley has been known to be a man of funny commentary and antics since he retired from the NBA in 2000. He has since been an analyst on TNT for 15 years and has provided the world with his funny aura and demeanor that we as fans all know and love. As such an outspoken character, there are plenty of people who would rather not see Barkley in front of the camera. There is one thing that the common basketball fan can agree on, and that is Barkley accomplished so much on the court that having a legend still involved with the game is something to appreciate.