Barkley on sale: Not a big deal

Charles Barkley says his former team is heading inthe right direction under coach Doug Collins.
Charles Barkley says his former team is heading inthe right direction under coach Doug Collins. (Associated Press)

He said fans don't care who owns the 76ers. "It's about the coaches and players."

Posted: June 10, 2011

Charles Barkley doesn't see what all the fuss is about. A six-time all-star during his eight seasons with the 76ers, Barkley, often the master of hyperbole, believes that there has been an overreaction to the news on Tuesday that Comcast-Spectacor was deep in negotiations to sell the franchise.

Speaking on a conference call to promote the American Century Golf Championship July 15-17 at Lake Tahoe, which features 80 sports and entertainment stars, Barkley was at his entertaining best.

"I have been living in Philly and I think it's a little overblown," Barkley said about the news of the potential sale. "Nobody cares who owns the team. It's about the coaches and players."

The popular TNT analyst had high praise for the Sixers.

"Doug [Collins] did a fantastic job and the Sixers are going in the right direction, but people have to be patient," said Barkley, named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

Barkley said that he has been asked to be part of ownership groups looking to buy NBA teams.

"I have been asked but I haven't found one I wanted to do," he said.

Barkley then made sure to point out that he could never be a traditional type of owner.

"I don't have enough money to be like a Michael [Jordan] and take complete control of an organization," he said, alluding to Jordan's role as majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. "But it would be fun to, like whether it was in Philadelphia or Phoenix, to put a few million dollars in and be not a speaking owner but just a fun, good investment."

When asked if he had ever been invited to be part of an ownership group to buy the Sixers, Barkley said there were preliminary talks a few years ago.

"The last group that tried to put something together, but that fell through, I had preliminary conversations with them," he said. "I don't know anything about the new group."

Barkley wasn't specific, but in 2006, eight parties were believed to have submitted bids for the Sixers.

The current group looking to buy the Sixers is led by New York billionaire Joshua Harris.

Barkley said his involvement in ownership would be more ceremonial, unless something drastic happened with his bank account.

"I don't have enough money to buy or own a team, but maybe after I win [at] Lake Tahoe, if I put money on myself to win . . ." he said, drawing laughter because his golf game has never been on par with his basketball ability.

Barkley was told he was a 500-1 shot to win the tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. It's an event he is considering playing lefthanded because of the severe hitch in his swing.

"If I put a million dollars on myself I can make this thing work," he said.

He was then told he'd have to win the tournament on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe, a bigger long shot than Barkley's being able to buy the Sixers.


Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, mnarducci@phillynews.com, or @sjnard on Twitter

 

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