Charles Barkley was in his prime in 1989 when he tried to front NBA legend and his future Dream Team teammate Larry Bird. Chuck was giving more than a few inches to Bird and the bounce pass tempted Barkley so much he reached for it, ending up on the floor having missed an interception by inches.
Bird? Well he calmly swished the shot, no one to disrupt him.
The NBA on TNT crew revisited the moment on its 30th anniversary, knocking Chuck for his overeager defense — especially against a player like Bird who was sure to make him pay. “Why’d you dive, Chuck?” Shaq and Kenny want to know.
Barkley gave the only real answer he could. He dove because he thought he could get the ball. Look how close he came, Barkley says. But then he says what so many in his era have said about Bird’s finishing him off.
“Damn Larry Bird,” Charles says. Then, to emphasize the point, Charles follows it: “C’mon, Larry Bird,” he says. You should ask Isiah Thomas about that!