Charles Barkley The Champion
Charles Barkley was a champion without a ring. During his 16 year NBA career, Barkley was an MVP in '93, and a 9 time NBA ALL STAR and has played for the Philadelphia Sixers, Phoenix Suns and for the Houston Rockets. He was also part of the first ever Dream Team of the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona that won the gold medal. Barkley would earn the nickname Sir Charles while playing for the Phoenix Suns. But the only thing that he has not managed to do is win an NBA Championship.
When it comes to basketball, Charles Barkley never fails to impress. He was a very dominating player. Just 6'6 foot tall and built body Barkley can score, rebound, assist, he can play every position from guard to forward to center and a team leader. The hunger of winning gave Barkley the taste of success. The was only one prize that he had an eye on and that was his goal. No matter how much it would take him to get that NBA championship ring, Barkley was bond to reach for it. However, it would not be easy for there were hard obstacles that would stop him from getting his prize. However, Barkley was always ready to compete and test the challenge.
After Charles Barkley was traded from the Sixers to the Phoenix Suns in the end of the '92 season, the Suns team has given him one favor and one difficult task for him to do every season. And that would be an NBA title. As part of the Suns roster, Barkley would play with Danny Ainge, Kevin Johnson, Dan Marjerle, Richard Dumas, Cedric Ceballos, Oliver Miller, Tom Chambers and Mark West. This '92-'93 Suns team would always be remembered as one of the best Suns teams ever to play in the league.
Barkley's first season with the Suns, he averaged 25.6 points, 12.2 rebounds, and 5.1 assists per game. He also lead the Suns finish first overall with a record of 62 wins and 20 loses. In reward, Barkley was named '92-'93 MVP. But the Suns and Charles Barkley was not finish there yet. His was still far from his major prize where he would face his opponents in the playoffs. In the fist round, the Suns and Barkley would see themselves facing the aged team the Los Angeles Lakers. However, they were surprise to see the team 2-0 behind. But the Lakers were no match to the Suns team for the Barkley lead the Suns to win the series 3-2. In the Semi-Finals, Barkley and the Suns would face a young Spurs team lead by David Robinson and Sean Elliott. Once again, Barkley would send the Spurs packing and wrapped up the series 4-2. In the Western Conference finals, Barkley would face a very strong Sonics lead by Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton. The Soncis would not go down easy and they battled the Suns to force 7 games. However, the Suns and Barkley would prove that they were a better team than the Sonics by ending the seris 4-3. Now Barkley was an inch away from an NBA title.
The Phoenix Suns has only made two trips into the NBA Finals. Their first finals was in 1976 where they would lose against the Boston Celtics and now their second trip in '93 was going to be a hard challenge for the Suns and Barkley for they face the red hot Chicago Bulls who were looking for their three peat. This is one of the hardest challenge for Charles Barkley because it would be his first time playing in an NBA Final and it would be in his hands to prove everyone that he is a champion. But the Bulls were too much for Barkley to handle and Michael Jordan looked to be a better champion than Charles Barkley. The Chicago Bulls finished off the series 4-2 and winning their third straight NBA championship in three years in a row.
Even though Charles Barkley never accomplished his goal to become an NBA champion, he knew that he would be a future Hall of Famer. He has played with the greatest, played with great teams, has won the MVP, has conquered the Western conference division, and of course he has a captured the crowd favorite player. On the court, Barkley was carismatic, a leader, the guy who you would give the ball too but off the court he was loved by everyone, and he was a role model an entertainer. He may not have won an NBA ring, but at heart he is a champion.