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Liberal Democracy

Liberal Democracy
The Free State

Friday, May 10, 2013

Everything Sports: Video: ESPN's SportsCentury Charles Barkley, Larger Than Life

This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Post on WordPress 

It’s hard to describe Charles Barkley in a few sentences or even in a blog. But I’m a blogger who blogs about sports sometimes and I’m very familiar with Charles Barkley and grew up watching his career. So I’m going to give it a shot, but Sir Charles was an entertainer and commentator who also happened to be a great basketball player. Someone who had a lot of talent and basketball was one of those things, but not his whole talent and the entire person. Perhaps the best way to describe Charles Barkley would be to call him the Muhammad Ali of pro basketball. 

Charles or Chuck was someone who was great at his full-time job meaning basketball, but could’ve done a lot of other things and did those things. And is still doing those things like commentating not just on basketball, but culture and politics as well. That rumor of him wanting to be Governor of Alabama 10-15 years ago which was his home state, was real and something that he could’ve done and perhaps he would’ve made a good Governor and candidate. If he put in all of the work, but Charles was and is larger than basketball and always will be.
In Charles Barkley’s rookie season in the NBA with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1984-85, his nickname was the round mound of rebound because his rookie season he was 6’4 285 pounds or so and looked more like an offensive lineman or defensive lineman, but with the athletic ability of a great basketball player. But the word rebound was also part of that nickname because even in his rookie season playing power-forward at 6’4 maybe 6’5 at most, Barkley was already one of the best at his position.

Barkley was already one of the best if not the best rebounders in the NBA especially as an offensive rebounder. but he was also a great defensive rebounder and this is a guy who played with the great center Moses Malone in Philadelphia who might be the best rebounder of all-time. And now you have these two great big man and rebounders of all-time on your team. Without doubt height for height Charles Barkley is the greatest rebounder of all-time. A guy who is 6’4 and every game going up against power forwards who were 6’9-6’10 some taller than that, when 6’8 was considered short for a power forward. And Charles was the best rebounder of the entire group.
Charles Barkley the basketball player was a great rebounder the best height for height rebounder of all-time. But here’s a power forward who was also a great ball handler and passer, who could shoot the ball, lead the fast break. Had great work-ethic, a great clutch player who really had the whole package as a basketball player. And then you are talking about the great post game as a power forward on a 6’4 body, but with the physical strength of a defensive lineman in football. With the athletic ability of a great NBA guard. Which are just some of the reasons why Charles Barkley is one of the greatest basketball players of all- time. And perhaps the greatest player who has ever played power forward.

Sports Batman: Video: SportsCentury Wilt Chamberlain, a Giant Among Men

This post was originally posted at FRS Daily Post on WordPress

When I think of giants in NBA basketball, I always think of one guy first which is Wilt Chamberlain. Because he’s not the heaviest or the tallest, but the biggest ,the strongest man who has ever played basketball. Shaquille O’Neal has nothing on Wilt when it comes to strength and as a giant. Because Wilt was 7’1 270 pounds or so all muscle, Shaq the same hight and probably weighing 320 pounds. But without the brute strength of Wilt because Shaq was not all muscle, didn’t play with the same energy for an entire game that Wilt did. 

Shaq wasn’t the rebounder or the defender that Wilt was and wasn’t as dominant or have the all around offensive game even in the post that Wilt did. Shaq is the dominant center of the last decade and late 1990s, but not even the best center of his generation. That goes to Hakeem and I would take Patrick Ewing in his prime over Shaq as well. So to say that Shaq who was a great player and a great center was the Wilt Chamberlain or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of his generation is unfair to Wilt and Kareem. Who were both better, but also unfair to Shaq for him to try to live up to that.
As impressive as Wilt’s stats are the rebounds, points, assists as well and if block shots were a stat back then, he would’ve had a lot of those as well, Wilt was that he also won two NBA Championships, one with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1967 one of the best teams of all-time, but also with the 1972 Los Angeles Lakers another team that’s one of the best of all-time, but here’s a player that played for two of the best NBA teams of all time and won two championships with them. 
Wilt probably would’ve won more and perhaps didn’t do enough to make that happen and perhaps more interested in his own point totals. The famous saying being that Wilt scored more points against Bill Russell every time they played for the championship. But Russell would always win the championships except in 1967, is not just a joke, but is real because Russell was a better team player, but he also played for better teams.
You could make a case for either Wilt or Kareem as being the best center of all-time. And you also make a very good case for either of them being the best player of all-time as well. I lean towards Kareem as someone who was the best center in the best era that the NBA has ever seen for centers. And big man in general and Kareem was a better team player as well. But no one ever dominated the game from an individual standpoint as Wilt. Which makes him the most dominant player in NBA history. And a giant amongst men in the NBA.