Last month, Sneaker Report celebrated Charles Barkley’s 50th birthday. The Hall of Famer has been keeping busy these days with TNT’s NBA coverage and is prepping to join the NCAA Tournament coverage as things kick off this week. But today, Sneaker Report flashes back to Charles Barkley’s days as a Houston Rocket, the third and final team Barkley would play with before retiring.
Many basketball fans would agree that Sir Charles is one of the greatest players to never win an NBA Championship. On March 13, 1999, Barkley solidified his placement as one of the all-time best. As the Houston Rockets defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 100-89, Charles had a solid showing with 15 points, 6 assists, and 10 rebounds. Although on paper it looks like a standard Barkley performance, his first assist of the game cemented his place in one of the most elite groups in the NBA. The assist made him just the third player in history to record 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds, and 4,000 assists. At the time, the only two players who had accomplished the feat were Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Wilt Chamberlain. Since then, Karl Malone also reached the milestone numbers, making him just the fourth player in history to do so.
Charles Barkley’s partnership with Nike was one of the most legendary campaigns of the ’90s. From the classic “I am not a role model” commercials, to his Air Max rugged signature models, the two entities produced some of the most memorable moments in endorsement history. However, during Barkley’s final days in the league, he opted to wear the signature model of his close friend and rival, Michael Jordan. The Ferrari-inspired Air Jordan 14 used Zoom Air in the forefoot and heel, along with a ventilation system in the outsole for breathability.