Charles Barkley Picked 76ers Legend Over Michael Jordan on Live TV and Was Destroyed by Shaquille O’Neal and Other NBA Legends

Published 07/08/2022, 3:28 PM EDT

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Michael Jordan, through his magical prowess on the basketball court, placed millions around the world in a trance. Jumpman not only dominated basketball throughout the better part of the 1990s, but he also cemented himself among the greatest athletes of all time.

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If a hypothetical NBA draft takes place, many wouldn’t think twice before drafting Jordan with the first pick. For them, it’s a no-brainer to go the “His Airness” route. Charles Barkley, though, decided to take a completely different route.

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The NBA legend amassed quite a successful individual career. “The round mound of rebound” is more than just a nickname. The moniker embodies the fierce energy that Chuck brought every time he stepped on the hardwood. Off the court, though, Barkley has remained involved with the game by serving as an NBA analyst on TNT.


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Barkley has left many in splits through the comedic value he brings to his job. On several instances, his controversial takes have amused some while perplexing others. The same thing happened during the 2011 All-Star Weekend when Chuck picked Allen Iverson over Michael Jordan.

Charles Barkley chose Allen Iverson over Michael Jordan in an ultimate fantasy draft, which landed him in hot water

TNT hosted an ultimate fantasy draft during the 2011 All-Star weekend in Los Angeles. Alongside Charles Barkley, the panel included Kevin McHale, Reggie Miller, Chris Webber, Kenny Smith, and Steve Kerr. The hypothetical draft required the NBA legends to assemble a dream team from the greatest players of all-time. Barkley, though, didn’t seem to have received the memo.

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Barkley was awarded the first pick. To the surprise of everyone, he chose Allen Iverson with it. While nothing can ever go wrong with “The Answer” starring for a squad, the rest of the panel had different views. They were surprised that Barkley passed up the opportunity to select Jordan with that pick.


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Seeing this, Ernie Johnson inquired as to whether Jordan was on his list. Barkley said that he is; however, he selected Iverson because the All-Star game is a “point-guard dominated game.” However, there was no mention of assembling the squad for an All-Star game. Once Chuck learned this, he exclaimed, “Wait a minute!” and immediately regretted his decision to choose Iverson.

Throughout the rest of the draft, the panel roasted Charles Barkley for selecting AI over MJ. A former 76er picking a 76er legend makes perfect sense, but Iverson himself would have probably gone with “His Airness.”

Even Shaquille O’Neal roasted Charles Barkley years after his hilarious blunder

The TNT Inside the NBA crew was joined by Kevin Garnett during the 2018 All-Star Weekend. The show staged its own fantasy draft, with Shaquille O’Neal and Kevin Garnett as Team LeBron and Barkley and Kenny Smith as Team Durant. They were picking the 2018 All-Stars this time around. This is when they decided to roll back the tape where Barkley picked Iverson over Jordan.

When his crew and Garnett saw the video, they began to ridicule Barkley over his comical gaffe. KG went ahead and asked Barkley who he would choose with the first choice if he could redo it. He pondered for a moment before deciding on Wilt Chamberlain. He went on to declare Chamberlain as the greatest big man ever, which offended Shaq.


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This is when Shaq and Chuck started hurling vocal jabs at each other. “Second greatest,” Shaq responded to Barkley’s claim, to which he replied, “Kareem’s the second.” Barkley then continued to get under Shaq’s skin, claiming he would choose Bill Russell over him.

O’Neal then went off and said, “I’ll pick Popeye Jones before I pick you. I’ll pick Dean Garrett before I pick you. I’ll pick Felton Spencer before I pick you.”


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It was really just another day of Shaq and Barkley verbally sparring. Basketball fans will never forget these two legends’ entertaining exchanges. This is what has made them terrific NBA analysts and what has made their show even better.



Written by:

Ritvik Malhotra


One take at a time

Ritvik is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed his Bachelor's in Journalism and Mass Communication from Amity University, Ritvik has finally got his foot in the door as a professional sports writer. He previously interned at another media house where he authored over 150 soccer articles, but he is now writing about his primary obsession, basketball.
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Edited by:

Melroy Fernandes




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