Give Charles Barkley an inch and he will most certainly take it the extra mile. That’s how he operates on Inside the NBA on TNT these days, but it was always the case on the hardwood as the Round Mound of Rebound.
Although he is generously listed at 6-foot-6, it is no secret Sir Charles became one of the most dominant power forwards the game has ever seen and still easily remains as one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history. His love for the game has always outweighed his passion for Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and there is one game that stands above the rest.
For all of his accolades as a professional basketball player — the 1993 NBA MVP and 11 NBA All-Star Game appearances for starters — absolutely nothing touched the night he dropped a career-high 56 points, 14 rebounds, four assists and three steals at Golden State Warriors in Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round.
And now, as of February 20, 2019, his age matches career high. It’s hard to believe, right? Chuck is 56 years old, and there is no better way to celebrate than watching the former Phoenix Suns superstar school the Warriors for a 140-133 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Arena.
Not only did Barkley post his biggest scoring game ever, including a sizzling 27 points in the first quarter, but the victory also gave the Suns a series sweep. This, of course, was the first series since losing in the 1993 NBA Finals to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
Still, the way he took it right to Golden State was vintage and a performance the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee will always remember. He made 23 of 31 field goals, including 3-for-4 from 3-point range in 41 minutes on the floor.
Originally from Leeds, Alabama and a legend at Leeds High School just outside of Birmingham, Barkley enjoyed a stellar college career with the Auburn University Tigers — winning the 1984 SEC Player of the Year — before he was selected No. 5 overall by the Philadelphia 76ers in the 1984 NBA Draft.
In his 16-year-career in the National Basketball Association, Barkley played for the Sixers, Suns and Houston Rockets, compiled over 23,000 points and 12,500 rebounds, and was named to the All-NBA First Team five times. He won two Olympic gold medals, and was the leading scorer the Dream Team at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
Charles Barkley’s legacy, from his on-court dominance during his NBA career to his off-court antics, is truly unmatched. But there is no better time to honor his 56th birthday by watching these outrageous highlights of him dropping 56 points.
Happy birthday, Sir Charles!