Barkley, Charles (1963—)

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Barkley, Charles (1963—)

Basketball player Charles Barkley was known for his outspoken and aggressive behavior on and off the court. In the early 1980s, he attracted national attention when he played for Auburn University. Dubbed the "Round Mound of Rebound" because he weighed almost 300 pounds and stood 6[.minute]4[.second], Barkley slimmed down for the 1984 NBA draft. Playing for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, and Houston Rockets, Barkley was an Olympic gold medalist on the Dream Team in 1992 and 1996. A superstar player, he endorsed his line of shoes (while fighting Godzilla in one Nike advertisement) and hosted Saturday Night Live which featured him playing a mean game of one-on-one with PBS star Barney. He made cameo appearances in such movies as Space Jam (1996). The comic book series Charles Barkley and the Referee Murders depicted his antagonism toward officials. Known as Sir Charles, the entertaining and charismatic Barkley stressed he was not a role model. Egotistically stating, "I'm the ninth wonder of the world," Barkley often provided controversial sound bites for the press because of his temperamental and opinionated outbursts.

—Elizabeth D. Schafer

Further Reading:

Barkley, Charles, with Rick Reilly. Sir Charles: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles Barkley. New York, Warner Books, 1994.

Barkley, Charles, with Roy S. Johnson. Outrageous!: The Fine Life and Flagrant Good Times of Basketball's Irresistible Force. New York, Simon and Schuster, 1992.

Casstevens, David. "Somebody's Gotta Be Me": The Wide, Wide World of the One and Only Charles Barkley. Kansas City, Andrews and McMeel, 1994.