If there were any player I wished played during the days of social media, Charles Barkley would be near the top of the list. Barkley was an absolute whirlwind in his heyday and his antics (some amusing, some not so much) would have created endless Twitter fodder.
One of Barkley's remarkable adventures came in Milwaukee circa 1991, when he was arrested after taking off his shirt and assuming a karate pose, only to punch a man in the face. Barkley detailed exactly why he took off his shirt during the NBA Finals last year, but on Tuesday's edition of the Lowe Post podcast with Zach Lowe, he gave full context to the story in a way he hasn't before to the media. Barkley was out and about in Milwaukee after last call at the bar and was heading back to a friend and his wife's condo before heading to the airport. He was walking to said wife's car when things started happening.
Below is a transcription of Barkley's tale from the podcast beginning at 16:50:
"We get about a block from Rosie's [the bar Barkley had left] and all of a sudden I could hear running. Then it started getting closer to me, and I could hear them saying, 'F--- Charles Barkley, F--- Charles Barkley.' So I said, 'Hey, girl, we need to speed this up.' I could hear people running towards me, but it was really cold, I didn't want to stop and turn around. We start walking faster. She had to park a long way away, we get about two blocks away and these three guys are up on me. I'm like, 'Yo, man. What's y'alls problem?' [They said] 'We don't f---ing like you. We don't like you and we're gonna kick your ass.' I'm like, 'Why y'all gonna kick my ass? I don't even know you dudes from Benny.' They were three big weightlifters and they were right in my grill. Two at my back, one's right in my grill. I said, 'Yo, man, I don't want no trouble.' This dude's like, 'I'm gonna kick your ass.' So I'm starting to think: 'Okay, what you gonna do, because right now you're probably going to get your ass kicked.'"
"Then I started thinking, make them think you're crazy. I started taking off all of my clothes. I take off my jacket, had a big coat on. I take off my shirt. I take off my shoes and socks. I think it was right around the time we were doing Karate Kid, so I was like, wax on, wax off. I'm doing this and all of a sudden, two dudes back up. But this one dude is still in my grill. I'm thinking, 'Oh, it's working on two of them but it's not working on another.' Then I said I might as well make my move, so I hit this one dude as hard as I can hit a dude. He's down, he's like, 'You f---ing hit me!' And I said, 'You damn right. And there's plenty more where that came from.' It would have been an interesting proposition, me trying to fight these three big guys if they all got on me at the same time. But when I hit old boy, he went down, and that was it. "- Charles Barkley on the Lowe Post
Barkley broke the man's nose with that punch, and the man told police he had simply asked for an autograph, leading to Barkley's arrest that night after he returned to his hotel. Barkley would later be acquitted on all charges.
Quite a tale from Sir Charles. I could hear him tell stories like that all the time, to be honest with you. Get Barkley his own podcast!