Here’s something we all know: if you put Charles Barkley in front of a microphone, chances are you’re going to hear something entertaining. He proved that in spades on Wednesday night when he stopped by “Jimmy Kimmel Live” for a hilarious and informative chat.
Barkley could have talked about anything. But on Wednesday, he settled on talking about Philadelphia for awhile. And after discussing how Philadelphia is a football town while Los Angeles is a basketball town, Barkley mentioned that he almost played for the Los Angeles Lakers once. He wasn’t clear on the timeline (he thinks it was in the late 1980s), but he remembered the story itself very well.
“I get a call from my agent one morning, and he says, ‘I think we’ve got a deal, you’re going to the Lakers.’ […] I was so excited, so me and my boys went out to celebrate. We started getting drunk in the middle of the day.”
This sounds promising. He’s leaving the Philadelphia 76ers for the Lakers, he’s excited, and he’s getting hammered in the middle of the day. Since we’re in the future, we know he never actually played for the Lakers, so this story is going to have a heck of an ending.
“My agent called me back about three hours later. He says, ‘The Sixers pulled out of the deal,’ and we’ve got a game that night. I don’t remember anything about that game. First of all, I was so pissed, but I was so drunk, too. I have no idea what happened that game.”
Barkley could have ended the story there, but he went on a little longer.
“I can remember a lot of games I played, but that day, we were so excited that I was getting out of Philadelphia, and I was blasted, I’m not gonna lie. We were doing shots and everything.”
Kimmel then asked Barkley if that was the only time he’d ever played intoxicated, and after a short pause he said “no.” If that had been his real answer, fans might be Zaprudering old Barkley game footage to see if they could tell when he was drunk, but he clarified pretty quickly. That was the only time he’d played drunk, but had played while hungover.
Playing professional basketball while drunk or hungover doesn’t seem like a lot of fun. But it makes you wonder just how much Barkley, a very large human man, would have to drink to get drunk. Maybe that’s the real story here. 30 years ago he was young and in peak physical form. If Barkley played drunk, Did he and his buddies put a Philadelphia bar out of business for the day because they drank *everything* that was available? We need a 30-for-30 on this for sure.
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