Barkley, Charles (Wade) 1963-
BARKLEY, Charles (Wade) 1963-
PERSONAL: Born February 20, 1963, in Leeds, AL; son of Charcey Glenn; married; wife's name Maureen.
ADDRESSES: Agent—c/o Author Mail, Random House, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.
CAREER: Professional basketball player and sports commentator. Philadelphia 76'ers, 1984-92; Phoenix Suns, 1992-96; Houston Rockets, 1996-2000; Turner Network, Atlanta, GA, sports commentator.
MEMBER: U.S. Olympic Team, 1992 (dismissed), 1996.
AWARDS, HONORS: National Basketball Association (NBA) All-Star Game Most Valuable Player, 1991, 1993; member of NBA All-Star Team, 1988-93, Schick Pivotal Player award, 1986-88, IBM award, 1986-88.
Outrageous!: The Fine Life and Flagrant Good Times of Basketball's Irresistible Force, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1992.
(With Rick Reilly) Sir Charles: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles Barkley, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1994.
I May Be Wrong, but I Doubt It: Some Things I'veLearned So Far, Random House (New York, NY), 2002.
SIDELIGHTS: On and off the court, basketball star Charles Barkley has always managed to be in the limelight. Exciting, outspoken, and controversial, Barkley speaks his mind, regardless of the consequences. "My momma told me a long time ago to let my emotions out, not to be repressed," he once told a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter, and he has certainly taken that advice to heart. He was dropped from the Olympic team, allegedly for mouthing off to the coach, though some maintain it was because of the weight problem that earned Barkley the nickname "Round Mound of Rebound" in his years on the Auburn University basketball team. Regardless, he was a sensation on the court, breaking a number of records and earning the Southeastern Conference Player of the Year award. Drafted by the Philadelphia 76'ers, he showed the same daring and skill he had demonstrated in college—and the same tendency to mouth off to coaches, fans, officials, and anyone else within earshot. He earned a place on the "Dream Team" that went to the 1992 Summer Olympics, and as usual drew the lion's share of publicity, earning a few technical fouls for addressing the audience and a rebuke from the U.S. Olympic Committee. Unhappy with the lackluster 76'ers of the early 1990s, he let his feelings show and was traded to the Phoenix Suns at the end of the 1991-92 season and went on to the Houston Rockets in 1996 before retiring from professional basketball in 2000.
In Outrageous!: The Fine Life and Flagrant Good Times of Basketball's Irresistible Force Barkley "explains his side of every incident," wrote Barbara Jo McKee in the Kliatt Young Adult Paperback Book Guide. Characteristically, he doesn't stop there. "Like anyone who loves the sound of his own voice, Barkley will pontificate on just about any subject," commented Los Angeles Times reviewer Karen Stabiner. And Barkley has much to say about his career, the state of the NBA, and his refusal to be a "role model." "Barkley will win few friends here, but his blatant honesty is perversely refreshing and likely of wide appeal," concluded a Kirkus Reviews contributor. That same honesty is present throughout Sir Charles: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles Barkley, which moves beyond professional sports to include Barkley's thoughts on a wide variety of issues. Library Journal contributor Cliff Glaviano commended the collection as "entertaining, timely, controversial, yet fun and inexpensive."
In I May Be Wrong, but I Doubt It: Some Things I've Learned So Far, Barkley combines elements from both of the previous works, addressing a wide range of subjects while recounting incidents from his professional career. "This is a very entertaining look at one of the most intelligent minds in pro sports, and like Barkley's career, it's bound to produce fierce arguments," concluded a Publishers Weekly reviewer.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 1991, review of Outrageous!: The Fine Life and Flagrant Good Times of Basketball's Irresistible Force, p. 1444.
Kliatt Young Adult Paperback Book Guide, July, 1993, Barbara Jo McKee, review of Outrageous! p. 41.
Library Journal, June 15, 1994, Cliff Glaviano, review of Sir Charles: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles Barkley, p. 111.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, March 1, 1992, Karen Stabiner, review of Outrageous! p. 6.
Publishers Weekly, September 23, 2002, review of IMay Be Wrong, but I Doubt It: Some Things I've Learned So Far, p. 62.*