Lakers Rumors: How close Charles Barkley came to being a Laker

CAMDEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 13: Charles Barkley poses for a picture with his sculpture at the Philadelphia 76ers training facility on September 13, 2019 in Camden, New Jersey. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
CAMDEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 13: Charles Barkley poses for a picture with his sculpture at the Philadelphia 76ers training facility on September 13, 2019 in Camden, New Jersey. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Charles Barkley
(Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images for The Match) – Lakers Rumors /

In some old (but new) Lakers rumors, Charles Barkley was almost in the purple and gold.

Charles Barkley hit the media circuit last week talking the NBA’s return and explaining how he played an NBA game drunk because he thought he was traded from the Sixers to the Lakers. What happened and how did he do? Lake Show Life tries to piece this old Lakers rumors story together.

Charles Barkley is one of the most sought after analysts in the history of sports. He is known for his opinionated views from politics to who is going to be the NBA champion while sharing the spotlight with his TNT cohorts, Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and former Lakers great Shaquille O’Neal. What makes him so in demand is spread out in various aspects.

  • What Barkley says is what is truly on his mind and is not a reckless sports take.
  • He is wildly entertaining and funny.
  • If you are paying attention, a lot of the insight he has is for the most part correct. 

Charles Barkley made a couple of rounds in the news cycle last week. He was a part of the announcing crew in “The Match”: Champions for Charity golf match last Sunday, which pitted team Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson against Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning.

Woods and Manning took the win in the most-watched golf event ever on cable TV. The most exciting part of the golf match had to include Charles Barkley with his banter with Tom Brady. At this particular point, Brady took this round, so to speak.

Other exciting news was happening besides the golf match over the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Reports broke out that the NBA had begun discussions with The Walt Disney Company about resuming its games at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida in late July.

Charles Barkley was on the Paul Finebaum show expressing his concerns about playing amid COVID-19 concerns, the realities of social distancing playing, and the underlying factors to consider.

More importantly, Barkley took his insight behind the scenes to the network corporate offices sharing what makes him believe that NBA basketball will return sometime this summer. His source? His bosses at Turner Sports told him it was going to happen.

"“I do know this, talking to my bosses at Turner: We’re going to play basketball,” said Barkley. “It’s either going to be in Florida and Vegas, or just Florida. And they say two to three months. So normally, I get two or three months’ vacation during the summer. That is gonna be gone.”"

But it was a conversation that takes the cake as the funniest (Now seemingly confusing! More on that later!) story in the long line of former players sharing stories about careers past. It seems that Charles Barkley came very close to being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers. It is believed by most that the time was in 1992, before eventually being traded in 1993.

He shared the story with Zach Lowe on “The Lowe Post” podcast last week. Barkley has told this story before in quite a few versions to different people. But here’s the latest version told last week.

"“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.’ “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 expletive] 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.”"

There’s been a few that have tried to pinpoint the clunker of a game that Charles can’t remember.

Lake Show Life compares all of the versions and the actual time that the trade may have gone down. Did Charles Barkley play well in the “Intoxication” game that he doesn’t remember? Plus we show the after-effects of what could have happened if the deal had gone through.