Charles Barkley is one of the best players to ever don a Philadelphia 76ers jersey, and he thanks another Sixers legend for helping him improve his game.
Philadelphia, who drafted Barkley in 1984, recently honored Sir Charles by putting up a statue of him in front of the Sixers’ training facility. While Barkley thinks the status is way too skinny to be him, he did appreciate the franchise’s tribute to him.
However, the Hall of Famer claimed that he wouldn’t have made the jump in production that he did if it wasn’t for Malone’s words for him.
Charles Barkley took some time to acknowledge the late Moses Malone, whom he credits for having the greatest influence on his career. As a rookie, Chuck asked, “Why am I not getting to play?” Moses told him, “Because you’re fat and you’re lazy.” Then he helped him lose 50 lbs.
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) September 13, 2019
Barkley entered the league in 1984 as an athletic anomaly. He was definitely girthier than his contemporaries like Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon. However, he managed to run as fast as his colleagues and hold his own.
However, the rise in production between his rookie and sophomore season was noticeable. The spike in shot attempts that he had in his second season (13.0 from 9.5), as well as his improved field goal percentage and rebounds, saw him become one of the best undersized power forwards in the history of the game.
Barkley was also lucky to have learned from one of the best in Big Mo. Malone averaged around 24 points and 12.5 rebounds during the two years he played together with the Auburn product.
Nowadays, Barkley is considered as one of the best to ever set foot on the hardwood. That feat may not have been possible if Malone didn’t urge him to live better. Sir Charles has him to thank for his Hall-of-Fame career.
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