It won’t get the notice of MJ, but Charles Barkley turns 50 today

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Happy birthday Charles Barkley.

For a younger generation he’s the opinionated and funny guy on the TNT broadcasts.

But for people a few years older, they remember that Charles Barkley could play. Like got into the Hall of Fame could play — he was an NBA MVP, a gold medalist on the Dream Team, an 11 time All-Star who is only one of three players to finish his career with better than 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 4.000 assists (the other two are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain).

Barkley was a boorish young player, full of himself and a competitive fire that sometimes went too far (remember he tried to spit on a heckler and instead spit on an 8-year) but was jut part of who he is. The funny man on television now is just a more mature extension of the player.

But Barkley had the unfortunate luck of being born three days after Michael Jordan. So while television specials and a HUGE party in Houston All-Star weekend celebrated all things MJ, Barkley will get overshadowed. It happened the same way in his career — Barkley got the Suns to the NBA finals only to run into the Bulls buzz saw. And Jordan.

But they didn’t forget Barkley over at CSNPhilly.com, where in a long story Barkley talks about how he was a better player in Philly than Phoenix, but it was never enough.

Well we remember. And happy birthday Sir Charles.