CARE AND CLEANING TIPS
Please keep these instructions handy when dealing with your new Barkley:
1) He must be lubricated regularly. After shaving his head, Barkley applies a little petroleum jelly to the dome for the perfect sheen.
2) He requires constant action. He likes to bet Ainge $100 in free throw games. He likes to bet anybody $100 a hole in golf. He likes Alabama, giving the points.
3) He does not eat vegetables. Ever. "Hey," he says, "something's got to kill me, right?"
4) He often needs to get in your face with the racism thing. How else do you explain his applying for membership at the Shoal Creek golf club in Birmingham, the same club that declared in 1990 that it had always spurned black members? Guess what? The club might even take him.
5) He is very simple to operate. "Just wind me up and let me play," he says. Of course, that's more complicated than it sounds. Barkley wants everybody else to be as wound up as he is, a condition that for most humans—and for all the 76ers—is impossible. When the Sixers went in the tank during the last two years, Barkley publicly savaged them. Now that he is gone, they're savaging back.
"I think everyone who stepped on the court last year played as hard as he could," Philadelphia guard Hersey Hawkins said. "If that wasn't hard enough for Charles, tough."
Hawkins also told reporters recently that Barkley's departure meant that he would be able to "expand" his game, I resent that," says Barkley. "Two years ago he was an All-Star playing with me. I made him a lot better."
Then Sixer forward Armon Gilliam said he would finally get an opportunity to show his game, now that Barkley was gone. At that, Barkley fumes: "Hey, I wasn't with him on those other two teams [Phoenix and Charlotte, before Gilliam went to Philly], and he didn't show his game then. I resent that."