For eight seasons, Barkley routinely delivered wins and double-doubles on the 76ers. There is a reason why the 76ers retired Barkley’s No. 34 in 2001, nearly a decade after his final game there. After leaving the City of Brotherly Love, Barkley reflected on a significant regret he had in Philadelphia.
Charles Barkley only disliked one thing about playing with the 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers made Charles Barkley the fifth overall pick in 1984, and he quickly delivered on those expectations.
Barkley averaged 22.3 points and 11.6 rebounds in 610 games and 582 starts across eight seasons with the 76ers. He added another 22.4 points and 13.1 rebounds in 51 playoff games during that time.
Barkley spoke with Playboy in 1993, a year after the 76ers traded him to the Phoenix Suns. During the conversation, Barkley reflected on leaving Philadelphia and what he missed from the City of Brotherly Love.
“The worst is missing your friends. People in the Sixers organization, people in the restaurants, the fans who see every game. Otherwise, the negatives aren’t that bad. The only negative is losing. I played here for eight years, and we lost only two years. Other than that, the eight years have been great.”Charles Barkley
Leave it to Barkley to be candid about his time in Philadelphia. Still, he isn’t wrong about how losing games bothered him, especially with how competitive the 76ers were in his time there.
The 76ers were a consistent winner in Barkley’s tenure
Don’t let Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid’s success fool you into thinking that the 76ers only became a productive team in recent years.
Philadelphia made the playoffs six times in Barkley’s eight seasons. The 76ers only made it to the Eastern Conference Finals once, losing to Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics in the spring of 1985.
Barkley was the team’s best player for most of those seasons. The 76ers traded Barkley to Phoenix in 1992 after going 35-47 and missing the postseason for the second time in five years.
Barkley never won a championship after he left Philadelphia
In June 1992, the Philadelphia 76ers officially ended the Barkley era by sending him to the Phoenix Suns for three players, including sharpshooting guard Jeff Hornacek.
Barkley averaged 23.4 points and 11.5 rebounds in four seasons with the Suns. Phoenix reached the NBA Finals in 1993 but lost to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
Barkley ended his career by averaging 16.5 points and 12.2 rebounds in four seasons with the Houston Rockets. Houston reached the Western Conference Finals in 1997, Barkley’s first year in Houston, but they never advanced past the first round after that.
That was it for Barkley, and he retired in 2000 without winning an NBA championship.