These days, Charles Barkley is known for being one of the most outspoken voices on television. Los Angeles Lakers fans have had to endure Barkley consistently criticizing the team anytime they are on national TV. What many don’t know, however, is that he nearly became a member of the team many years ago.
In an interview with Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated, Barkley spoke about being told by his agent that he was traded to the Lakers, before the Philadelphia 76ers backed out of the deal:
Yeah. The Sixers backed out. It was going crazy for two weeks so I knew it would come down to Portland, [the] Lakers or Phoenix. So I get a call from my agent one morning and he said, “Philly has traded you to the Lakers.” So I went to lunch and started drinking. I’m f—ing so excited that I am going to the Lakers. Three hours later I get a f—ing phone call from my agent saying that the Sixers backed out of the deal. I said, “Oh, s–t, I’m feeling pretty good right now.” So I went out and played that night.
Lakers legend and NBA Hall of Famer James Worthy would have been the centerpiece of the trade had it went down reportedly, which would have changed the career projections of both players had it eventually went through.
Barkley was eventually traded to the Phoenix Suns and he went on to win the 1993 NBA MVP, but ultimately fell short of winning an NBA championship. Perhaps if he had become a member of the Lakers, he could have gotten that one thing he was never able to win as a player.[divide]