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The sports industry has many revenue sources, like merchandise, endorsements, fantasy sports, and ads. Another exciting way for fans to experience sports is through video games. Ones like NBA 2K make billions of dollars. Many fans’ favorite players are a part of these games, but Charles Barkley is absent from NBA 2K for a surprisingly noble reason. 

NBA 2K success

Madden has been the longtime gaming success for football fans, but the 2K series is the winner of NBA video games. The game series has been around since 2009. Fans of the NBA have the opportunity to play simulated basketball fans featuring many of their favorite players.

Although the series has had mixed reviews, details Screen Rant, it still has found great success in generating billions of dollars. There is no doubt that fans revel in playing games with their favorite players, including the late Kobe Bryant. There is one noticeably absent basketball superstar, however. Barkley is not found in the 2K games. 

Barkley’s epic NBA career

Although Barkley never won an NBA championship, he won many other titles. He was an MVP multiple years. Known for his incredible rebounding abilities, Barkley enjoyed success for 16 seasons in the NBA. In 2006, he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, cementing himself as one of the best players of all time. 

Barkley’s incredible ability on the court was matched by his larger than life persona off the court. The basketball legend is no stranger to feuds and drama. Barkley has been at odds with huge names, including Michael Jordan and recently Draymond Green.

Sir Charles always speaks his mind. Throughout his career, this made him a polarizing character. Although he was extremely talented, he clearly had no desire to be a role model. He also wasn’t going to stay silent when he was attacked. Most notably, Barkley found himself suspended after spitting on an innocent girl

Barkley stands his ground 

NBA player Charles Barkley
Charles Barkley speaks at the 76ers training facility | Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Sir Charles cites spitting on the innocent girl as a turning point in his life. He decided he needed to turn his attitude around. While he might’ve accomplished that feat, he remains opinionated. Of course, this isn’t always a bad thing. Barkley has found success following his NBA career as a sports commentator for TNT.

His opinions continue to be polarizing, including his stance on the Black Lives Matter movement. Vocalizing his thoughts is lucrative for Barkley, but he maintains that sports are not important professions even if they have made him a multi-millionaire.

With a fortune valued at $40 million, Barkley is not hurting for money. He won’t allow his likeness in the NBA 2K games because they won’t pay him what he asks for, details The Post-Game. Barkley is not looking to advance himself by asking for money. Rather, he would like the money paid to him to go to the retired players association. Sir Charles explained his reasoning, reports The Post-Game:

“We told the 2K people that our job is to take care of the older players. I don’t even want any money. I said, ‘Let’s come up with an amount of money for you to give to the retired players union.’ I’m not trying to be a pig or greedy. They should donate the money to the retired players. If they would give a million dollars a year to [the] retired players union, they can use my likeness.”

Considering the amount of money NBA 2K makes using famous athletes’ likeness, one million dollars is a paltry amount to ask. Barkley’s demands to have money donated to the retired players shows how far he has come. At this point in his career, his intentions are noble and humble; even if his mouth still lands him in hot water at times. 


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