Barkley, Charles Wade 1963–, American basketball player, b. Leeds, Ala. After starring at Auburn Univ., he joined the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1984. Shorter, at about 6 ft 5 in. (196 cm), but heavier than most NBA forwards, he employed a bruising physical style, along with timing and court sense, to become one of the game's premier rebounders and scorers. In 1992 he played for the U.S. “Dream Team,” which won the Olympic gold medal; Barkley was involved in controversy over the roughness of his play. (He also played for the 1996 U.S. gold-medal Olympic team.) During 1992 he moved to the NBA's Phoenix Suns. The outspoken “Sir Charles,” a media favorite, joined the Houston Rockets in 1996; he retired in 2000.
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