Page 3 of 3

Barkley had outrebounded bigger men like Larry Johnson of Charlotte, Vlade Divac of the Lakers, Shaquille O'Neal of Orlando, Dikembe Mutombo of Denver and even Hakeem Olajuwon and Otis Thorpe of Houston.

Even in the defeat at San Antonio, Barkley outrebounded David Robinson, the Spurs seven-footer, who was Charles' teammate on the U.S. Olympic team.

A man asked Barkley at that final meeting in the clubhouse, before the Suns' departure on the road trip, whether he thought there might be some trouble now adjusting to Kevin Johnson's style.

"I don't worry about adjusting," Barkley said. His answer was delivered in a matter-of-fact tone.

"I just play," he said. "I just do what I do, and hope it all comes out together and we'll win."
Before coming to Phoenix, Barkley always said there were several things he needed in order to play his best basketball.

"I need to play fewer minutes," he said. "And I need to play with at least two other guys who can score, at least one more serious rebounder, a point guard who knows how to play and guys on the bench who can give the starters a rest without allowing the opposing team to gain any ground."
Looking over the Suns' performance to date, Sir Charles came to exactly the right place. All we need now is the cooperation of Kevin Johnson.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Tom Fitzpatrick