Now, what about the guy in Chicago earlier this season? [On Jan. 15, Barkley was in a Chicago bar when teammate Jayson Williams broke a beer mug over a patron's head. No charges were ever filed against Williams or Barkley.]
CB: I had nothing to do with that. The media threw my name in for no reason. See, I haven't been talking to them all year. I think they want me out of town.
SI: The rumor is that you want yourself out of town.
CB: No. I want to stay here. I'm a man. I'm not a boy. I don't want to pick up my bat and ball and go home just' cause we're not winning. I don't want to bail out on the rest of the guys.
SI: But aren't these the guys you called lazy?
CB: Well, I was just saying our team has got to be professional. If you're not professional, then you're lazy on the job. Some guys didn't know the plays, and they weren't working hard. I told them: I don't care if we win or lose, just as long as we work hard. They owe me that and the other guys that.
SI: Are your feelings hurt when you hear the Sixers are considering trading you?
CB: It disappoints me that they would trade me. People know I'm not the problem. Why is it always the guy who plays well who gets blamed for not winning?
SI: Well, it's not your play that makes them want to trade you, it's your personality.
CB: No, I don't think so. They're between a rock and a hard place as far as the team is concerned. Do we trade Charles and rebuild? Or do we try to make it work?