Former NBA star Charles Barkley, who received a lifetime achievement award from the NAACP, was honored at the organization’s 92nd annual Pyramid Awards in Houston last week. Yet, his celebrity was overshadowed by his love for “Oprah,” who he was seen talking to on camera during his acceptance speech. Barkley was apparently so eager to get to the awards ceremony on time that he arrived several hours early, and was seen talking to “Oprah.”
Charles Barkley is a star that very few people will forget. His name will forever be associated with the NBA, as well as his humble statistics of 9,379 points and 7,127 rebounds, as well as the play called “The Mailman”, which he invented. His biggest regret was that he arrived late to the arena to see the documentary “Oprah”, and he spent all of the credits of his Gatorade commercial crying.
In 1996, the NBA’s Phoenix Suns were on the road to play against the Atlanta Hawks. They were already down by 20 points when the game was postponed due to bad weather. When the game was rescheduled for the following day, the Hawks, now down by a much wider margin, were able to steal the game, and went on to win the series in five. In the end, the Suns lost the NBA Finals, and Charles Barkley publicly criticized “Oprah” Winfrey for arriving late to the arena to watch the game. Barkley famously said “Oprah just got $45 million for 20 minutes of my time on her show. If I showed up late, I would’ve gotten a lifetime supply of prunes.”The Oprah Winfrey Show has been the daytime television audience destination for 25 years. But the identity of some of the members of that audience could be a surprise. For two months more than 30 years ago, Oprah viewers owned one of the strangest pairs in the NBA: Philadelphia 76ers superstar Charles Barkley and his roommate, Scott Brooks.
NBA players have a different schedule than most people. They play at night, move around a lot and spend most of their lives in daylight. But by the fall of 1988, Barkley was already an established NBA star. He played in back-to-back All-Star games, was named NBA MVP in each of the last three seasons and was on the All-NBA First Team for the first time.
Brooks was anything but a superstar. Instead, he became a refugee for the Continental Basketball Association and got his first chance at a regular NBA salary.
Scott Brooks attended the 76ers’ 1987 training camp, but did not join the team. After averaging 8.7 points and 2.2 assists per game as a reserve in the CBA for the Albany Patrons, the Sixers brought him back for a second chance in 1988. The injury to starting point guard Maurice Cheeks freed up a spot on the roster for Brooks.
He had planned to rent the apartment for six months. Charles Barkley intervened, reports the Washington Post. Barkley remembered what he had told the newcomer.
Ohhhh little guy, why don’t you wait and make sure you are on the team before you put all that money into a lease. I wasn’t 100% sure, but if I wasn’t sure he would make the team, I didn’t want him to put all that money into a loan.
Before Brooks, Barkley had never taken a roommate. He never did it again in his career. So he’s not sure how it worked.
I don’t know why, but I really liked him. For some reason, I had a connection with Scott. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a player who hasn’t been on an NBA team or had an NBA career.
Either way, it wasn’t the usual welcome for Brooks in the NBA.
Charles Barkley of the Philadelphia 76ers is at the free throw line. | Bettmann Archive/Getty Images
On the fourth. November 1988 was a pivotal day in the life and career of Scott Brooks. Philadelphia hosted the Los Angeles Clippers at home to open the season. Brooks was preparing for his first NBA home game at the Spectrum. Although he is from Southern California, Brooks grew up a 76ers fan. It was very important to him.
Until it stops. Brooks recalled how it went as he prepared to leave the house.
And he said: WHAT? Oprahit’s all just the beginning.
Barkley remembers being baffled by Brooks’ priorities.
Not everyone sees Oprah? You know how those young people can be: They are in the gym 24 hours a day. And I am: Dude, nobody comes to a game three or four hours before kickoff.
That’s how Brooks and Barkley saw Oprah. Brooks made his NBA debut later in the evening with three points, five assists and four rebounds in 12 minutes against the Clippers (129-110).
Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Scott Brooks in conversation with Russell Westbrook (0) and Kevin Durant (35) in 2014. | Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
In the 1988-89 season, Scott Brooks played in all 82 regular season games for the 76ers, playing 16.7 minutes per game, scoring 5.2 points and handing out an average of 3.7 assists per night. Brooks even started six games. He played a small role in the playoffs, playing 21 minutes in Philadelphia’s loss against the New York Knicks.
But Brooks didn’t go back to the CBA either. Instead, he played 10 years in the NBA, for six teams. In 1994, he won the championship ring as a starter for the Houston Rockets. Brooks began coaching in the American Basketball Association in 2000 and moved to the NBA as an assistant with the Denver Nuggets in 2003.
Brooks became head coach of the Oklahoma City Thunder at the beginning of the 2008-09 season, succeeding P.J. Carlesimo, and stayed there for seven seasons, going 338-207 and reaching the NBA Finals in 2012. Brooks, who was fired by OKC in 2015, coached the Washington Wizards from 2016-21 with a 183-207 record before the Wizards fired him late in the season.
Charles Barkley? A career in the Hall of Fame, a place on the original Dream Team, an MVP award in 1993, and a long career as a studio analyst at TNT. But in recent months, this model, who has not yet been hired, has acted as a mentor to the NBA rookie.
statistics provided by Basketball Reference and Stats Crew.
COMPARED TO: Charles Barkley says he will never forgive the NBA for the fine he received after the infamous altercation between Dr. J and Larry Bird: You owe me moneyCharles Barkley has been an NBA analyst for years now, but you probably didn’t know he’s worked for ‘Oprah’ before that. In a 1997 episode of her show, Barkley boasts that he has been to the arena for every game he’s worked for, arriving hours before tip.. Read more about charles barkley father and let us know what you think.
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