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Charles Barkley
Rick Reilly
March 09, 1992
It has been a Winter of discontent for the NBA's most formidable forward
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March 09, 1992

Charles Barkley

It has been a Winter of discontent for the NBA's most formidable forward

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SI: Have you ever tried to leave the Sixers?

CB: I've come close. I came close a lot of times to saying "I want out." I think the Sixers are a very difficult organization. They don't treat the people in the front office—the secretaries and the people—with respect. I'll give you an example. This year they have taken [back] the team chaplain's tickets, the doctor's tickets, the head security guard's tickets and the assistant equipment manager's tickets. That's just terrible.

The Sixers are gutless. For example, we can't have beer in the locker rooms. I can't have a beer after I run up and down the court for two hours, but they're going to serve it to the guy who's got a wife and two kids to drive home. That is so gutless. They're only concerned about making money.

SI: How do you get along with [team owner Harold] Katz?

CB: He treats me decent. Not great. He does things I don't like. I don't like the way he treated Rick [Mahorn]. They left a message on his machine to call the Sixers [last year]. He called and they said, "Rick, we're going to release you." Hey, they can come to his house or he can come there, and they can tell him person-to-person. Rick was devastated. And then the thing with Maurice Cheeks. A TV guy says to Maurice, "Well, how do you feel about the trade?" and Maurice says, "What trade?" The guy says, "You've been traded to New York." And the tears came to his eyes. I'll never forget that. It burns my heart every day. Here he was, one of the best point guards in basketball for 10 years, and they treat him like that. That's ridiculous.

SI: Isn't it true that at the end of his career, the Sixers wanted to trade Dr. J to Utah?

CB: They wanted to. They didn't want to pay him, actually. And everybody wonders why nobody ever wants to hang around the Sixers' organization.

SI: If they're going to treat Dr. J like that, do you think they'll treat you like that?

CB: You expect them to.

SI: Pretend you've been the Sixers' general manager throughout history. How do you alter the history of the team?

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