Charles Barkley played a game drunk after Lakers trade fell through

Ruben Hill
May 25, 2020

Naismith Hall of Famer and TNT studio analyst Charles Barkley maintains he would have done an excellent job if given a chance to run the Orlando Magic's front office when the opportunity apparently arose in 2017. He expanded on it during the Lowe Post podcast with ESPN's Zach Lowe (hat tip Silver Screen and Roll).

Barkley loves telling this story.

'That doesn't count'"I wouldn't even have counted that as a championship", Barkley said. Me and Karl Malone - if he had won a championship with the Lakers, that doesn't count.

Moreover, because the Rockets didn't win a championship in any of those seasons, it's all the more convenient for Barkley to use that example in hindsight.

"I'm never gonna be happy with that", Barkley said of Durant's decision to leave Oklahoma City.

Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Julius Erving Golf Classic (PGD Global Event)"My agent calls me one morning and he says 'hey, you're going to get traded to the Lakers today.' And me and my friends, we go out and celebrate and get drunk around noon...."

"It ain't going to be like, 'Well, Charles is the president, but the general manager is making all the draft picks.' That's just not going to happen for me".

It was a far different situation than what Barkley has decried in recent years, such as Kevin Durant joining the Warriors in 2016 when Durant and each of Golden State's established All-Stars (Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green) were all 28 years old or younger. In 1999, Barkley took a paycut so that the Rockets could bring in Scottie Pippen to replace the retired Drexler. Barkley, Olajuwon and Drexler were all on the downside of their careers during Barkley's tenure in Houston.

But they didn't, and Barkley still doesn't have a ring to count or discount. The Hall of Famer mentioned the time he played an National Basketball Association game drunk as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers because he thought he was getting traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, only for the trade to fall apart while he was in the midst of a rowdy celebration.

He's told those stories before.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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