Charles Barkley shares story about playing game drunk after Lakers trade fell through
Charles Barkley is an incredibly entertaining on-air personality and excellent storyteller. He was at it again during a recent podcast interview.
Barkley was a guest on Zach Lowe’s ESPN podcast during the week and told the great story about how he played drunk one game for the Philadelphia 76ers after a trade to the Lakers fell through in 1992. Barkley thought the deal was going to happen and began drinking to celebrate. He was left in a bad spot after being informed the trade wasn’t happening.
“My agent calls me one morning and he says ‘hey, you’re going to get traded to the Lakers today. And me and my friends, we go out and celebrate and get drunk around noon. … He calls me later and says ‘hey you’ve been traded to the Lakers, they’re going to finalize the deal and I’ll get back to you,'” Barkley recalled to Lowe.
“I’m on cloud nine, he calls me back three hours later, it’s like 3:30 now, he says ‘the Sixers backed out of the deal.’ And I’m drunk as [bleeped] and we got a game that night, and I’m like ‘what? What are you talking about?’ And he’s like ‘the Sixers were scared to pull the trigger.’ So I’m like ‘you’re kidding me, dude we got a game tonight and I’ve been drinking since noon.’ The one thing that’s funny, I don’t even know how I played that night. I think I might have played so bad because I was so angry the Sixers didn’t pull the trigger, and then it’s just suffering the next two or three years.”
Silver Screen and Roll transcribed the quote and actually did some digging. They suspect the game described by Barkley was a 15-point loss to the Nets on February 12, 1992 in which the Round Mound of Rebound had just six points and a triple-single.
Chuck was traded to Phoenix after the 1991-1992 season and had four prime seasons with the Suns, even winning NBA MVP in his first year with them, much to Michael Jordan’s annoyance. That day of partying must not have been easy though, and is a reminder: only start celebrating once you have officially been traded.