Charles Wade Barkley was born on February 20, 1963 in Alabama. He would grow up to be one of the best power forwards the game has ever seen, and one of the funniest interviews and TV personalities for the league.
Barkley didn't even make his high school varsity team his junior year. That summer after he grew to 6'4" and made the team. He averaged 19.1 points and 17.9 rebounds per game and led his team to a 26–3 record en route to the state semifinals. But he was still wasn't highly recruited. An Auburn assistant reported seeing, "a fat guy... who can play like the wind".
Barkley would ultimately play ball at Auburn. In Barkley's three-year college career as a center, he averaged 14.8 points on 68.2% field goal shooting, 9.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.7 blocks per game. Check him out in college:
In his one NCAA Tournament appearance, he finished with 23 points on 80% field goal shooting, 17 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Not bad for a fat guy, nicknamed "The Round Mound of Rebound." But he would soon become "Sir Charles" in the NBA.
The Philadelphia 76ers took Barkley with the 5th overall pick of the 1984 NBA Draft, two picks after Michael Jordan.
By his second season Barkley was a force in the league, averaging 20.0 points and 12.8 rebounds per game. He wouldn't let up the rest of his time in the league. For 16 seasons with the Sixers, Phoenix Suns, and Houston Rockets, Barkley averaged 22.1 points per game and 11.7 rebounds. He was the league MVP in 1993 and an 11-time All-Star selection. He was a part of the Dream Team in the 1992 Olympics.
Barkley was also one of the best interviews the NBA has seen, always saying what's on his mind. Not to mention, he was one of the game's best trash talkers. Take a look:
Since his retirement in 2000, Barkley has become an NBA analyst, and one of the best personalities to see on TV. Check out the best of his reels from TNT.
Here's to you, Chuck. Happy Birthday.