Charles Barkley put together an illustrious career that had many memorable moments along the way. He had plenty of success throughout his career but did have some rough years with the Philadelphia 76ers. Before that eventual departure, Barkley had attempted to make his way out on his terms before what wound up being a trade to the Phoenix Suns. During that difficult time, the Hall of Famer spoke the Portland Trail Blazers, which led to him acquiring a personal debt that he wanted 26 years to get paid by the franchise.
Charles Barkley had rough end to 76ers’ tenure
Barkley spent the first eight years of his illustrious career with Philadelphia, where he developed into one of the best players in the league.
By the end of that run, things fell off the wagon, with the 76ers missing the playoffs in the 1991-92 season after finishing with a 35-47 record. Philadelphia had dropped well from grace from the team they fielded when Barkley entered the league.
He grew frustrated with the team heading in the wrong direction, which led to his trade to the Phoenix Suns in the summer of 1992. Before that came to fruition, Barkley attempted to get moved to the Trail Blazers.
Charles Barkley tried to land with the Blazers
Barkley had grown to wit’s end with how things had unfolded with the 76ers that led to him to look to play elsewhere.
One of those teams was the Trail Blazers, as he has a significant interest in joining the franchise back in 1992 shortly after their second trip to the NBA Finals in three years. Back in February 2018, Barkley revealed that he had spent his own money to fly out to speak with Portland, but nothing ever came about from the situation.
“One summer I flew to Portland on my own dime. The Portland Trail Blazers owe me $1,197. So I flew to Portland one summer because I said ‘y’all got a good team, but y’all can’t play in the half court. You are not going to win a championship unless you trade for me.’ I spent a day with the Portland GM and I said ‘these are the guys you can give up for me because I need this guy, this guy, this guy.’ We sit there for like three hours going over everything and he says ‘Charles I will get back to you.’
“He calls me the next day telling me ‘we are not going to trade for you.’ I was pissed. I flew to Portland on my own Dime and the Trail Blazers never paid me back.”
Much of that was out of the Trail Blazers’ hands, but it’s a situation that Barkley was bitter about not getting his money back. It didn’t take long for the team to respond to the matter that he put on blast on national television.
Blazers finally reimbursed Barkley for his expenses
In response to that situation, the Trail blazers didn’t waste any time in getting that lost money back to Barkley.
Through All-Star point guard Damian Lillard Portland repaid the Hall of Famer for his expenses during that trip. Although it’s not a gesture that they had to do, it does show the class and respect that the organization still has for him.
It’s one of those “what-if” situations for Barkley as he could have had an intriguing path with the franchise. He wound up reaching the 1993 NBA Finals with the Phoenix Suns, but it would have been interesting to see what he could have accomplished in Portland.