By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
"KJ's gotta play well for us. Dan Majerle's gotta play well. It's not gonna be decided just by me and Michael. It's gonna be decided by the other players. Like the other night, when I had the monster game, it was Dan Majerle who won it with the three-pointers. I had another monster game today, but it was KJ who won it with a great game.
"I don't feel like I'm going to let this team lose," he said. Charles looked into the crowd around him. "I've been telling you that for six months. My job ain't done yet." There was silence.
"I believe in my heart that we're going to win the world championship. People can say what they will, but I have never not believed that. If I play up to my capabilities, we're going to win."
A man asked if he wanted to be the MVP of the championship series.
"I don't care about awards," Barkley said. "That's just another piece of glass. I'm competing against myself. I'm not competing against the media. I'm not competing against the fans. I'm competing against Charles Barkley.
"Nobody expected me to be here and as successful as I've been. And this little kid from Leeds, Alabama, is playing for the world championship. And there might be a hundred others from Leeds who do well, but I'm here first and playing for the world championship, and that's all that matters to me right now."
A man asked Barkley about the pressure he has been under all season long.
"There's been so much pressure, because right from the start, we were supposed to make the finals. Nothing else was gonna be good enough. For us to get here with all this pressure shows what kind of men we are.
"I don't think they understood what kind of pressure they put on me or the team, because I knew we were supposed to win it all. I know I'm here to win and that it's a one-shot deal. But I'm proud of myself because of the way I've handled it so far."
"I'm gonna go out and get really fucking drunk tonight, and then sit in my whirlpool and celebrate. I got a six-pack sitting by there in a bucket of ice, and I got the Jacuzzi up to 107 degrees temperature. I'm gonna sit there for a while and rest. And then tomorrow, I'm gonna think about the Chicago Bulls."
He looked up again:
"I believe it in my heart. We're going to win the world championship.