Today the great Charles Barkley turns 55 years old. And while he had a legendary career on the court and is now crushing it as a broadcaster, he was once a part of something really special that should never be forgotten.
The classic “Superstars” video that anyone who’s a little bit older than they care to admit, remembers quite fondly from their youth.
If you’re a bit younger and never used a VCR, you’ve probably never heard of this video. And for that, I’m jealous. Because you’re going to experience these videos for the first time and your life will never be the same.
Most people got this VHS video, which came in a bright yellow box, through a subscription with Sports Illustrated. I think that’s how I got it and I remember all my friends having it.
The video made individual music videos for a number of NBA stars, pairing them with a song that might have fit their playing style (or just something totally unexpected) and then editing together pieces of absolute art. The voiceover at the beginning of the video described boldly as, “A fusion of music and sports like never before.”
My friends and I would power watch it all the time and argue which player had the best song and which video was the coolest of the group.
Did these stand up over time? It’s debatable. But let’s take a look at each one and break ’em down.
1. Charles Barkley
2. Larry Bird
3. Michael Jordan
4. Magic Johnson
5. Dr. J
6. Dominique Wilkins
7. Isiah Thomas
8. Hakeem Olajuwon
Or should we say, Akeem Olajuwon because this is from before the Rockets’ legend changed his first name. It starts with a shot of his house, his incredible pool (there’s an outline of a basketball court painted on the bottom of it, which as a kid I thought was the coolest thing ever), and a classic boom box above his locker to get him pumped for games. Totally forgot Olajuwon was on this video but immediately pumped my fist when I heard Kool Moe Dee’s “How Ya Like Me Now?” kick in.
9. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
I saved the most random song for last. I don’t even have words for this one. Just incredible. The tune? “I’m So Happy” performed by Roger Troutman. Seriously, watch this:
And that’s our stroll down memory lane. Which one was your favorite? C’mon, NBA, do this again.