Thursday, June 4, 2020

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Charles Barkley: I played drunk after the 1992 trade with the Lakers went bankrupt

We already knew that Charles Barkley once thought he would be swapped with the Lakers in 1992 before the Philadelphia 76ers retired from the deal. That’s not new.

What we got during Barkley’s (very funny) conversation with Zach Lowe on the “The Lowe Post” podcast earlier this week, however, was some more detail on that day and how that canceled trade led Barkley having to play drunk for the Sixers later in the evening:

“My agent calls me one morning and says” hey, today you will be exchanged with the Lakers. And me and my friends, we go out and celebrate and get drunk around noon …. He calls me later and says ‘hey you have been exchanged with the Lakers, they are about to conclude the deal and I will come back to you.’

“I’m in seventh heaven, he calls me back three hours later, it’s 3:30 now, he says,” The Sixers have gone out of business. “And I’m drunk like [bleeped expletive] and that night we have a game, and I’m like “what? what are you talking about?” and it’s like “the sixers were afraid to pull the trigger.” so I’m like “you’re kidding me, man, we have a game tonight and I have been drinking since noon. “something that is fun, I don’t even know how I played that night. I think I could have played so badly because I was so angry that the Sixers hadn’t pulled the trigger, so they’ll only suffer for the next two or three years. ”

“And then only the next two or three years will suffer” is an incredibly bleak way to end what is otherwise a hilarious story (and par excellence Barkley), but the good news is that it may not remember, since in the end has been trading with Soli next season.

Judging from what we know about this trade – which almost happened in 1992, which means that if Barkley had played a game that night it would have been during the 1991-92 season since Barkley had been trading with the Phoenix Suns the summer next – we can try to stab what night Barkley’s flu game might have been (like the symptoms).

Going to Basketball-Reference and ordering according to Barkley’s worst “Game Score” helps us understand which games Barkley played the worst in that season, and since we know that the 1992 commercial deadline was February 20, it should be a game. first then.

This leads one to guess the February 12 game that Barkley played against the nets just before the deadline – when trade negotiations are usually at the peak – in which Barkley put on a triple single (shouts to Draymond Green) of 6 points out of 2 – 7 shots with 7 assists and 9 rebounds in a loss of 102-87. The proximity of that game to the deadline – and how much Barkley fired and played in a defeat in which the opposing team combined for 43 points – make him the most likely candidate in my opinion.

A candidate for the dark horse for whom Barkley became the Round Head Pound of Rebound dates back a few weeks earlier, a win on January 31, 112-88 over Orlando Magic. Despite the result, Barkley was not at his best judging by the score of the box, scoring 6 points out of five shots with 8 assists and 7 rebounds, but Barkley’s overwhelming victory and efficiency in it make this one less likely.

We may never have a definitive answer as to what game it was – the passage of time and Barkley’s mood that day might make it a little more difficult – but it’s also easy to see why he was disappointed. A trade with the Lakers would put him in the kind of big market he probably felt he deserved, but given that Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal wouldn’t arrive there until about two years later, it’s also not clear how The Lakers got they would be reorganized around Barkley. And given how things went, I don’t think Lakers fans will change anything, although this will always be an interesting “what if?” Historian.

For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen podcast feed and Roll on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google podcast. You can follow Harrison on Twitter at @hmfaigen.

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