Infatuated With Philadelphia Legend’s Shooting Ability, Charles Barkley Revealed Inspiration for Favorite Hobby in 2002 Bestseller

Published 10/22/2023, 5:56 AM EDT

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You can always expect wit and candor from Charles Barkley. That was loaded in his two-decade-old memoir. That book was also the place he made the biggest revelation yet. Sir Charles, who loves another sport besides basketball, realized the grass is greener on the golf course because of another basketball legend. No, it’s not a certain six-time championship-winning on-court rival who was his one-time golf buddy.

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He would detail how this friendship began in his 2002 book, ‘I May Be Wrong But I Doubt It.’ The book is not the only time he spoke about his admiration for a Philly icon.

Charles Barkley discovered golf through Sixers star

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Before he was swinging golf clubs with Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods, Charles Barkley had a different golf buddy. That preceded a friendship that formed from his first day with the Philadelphia 76ers. The one who had Chuck awed was the invincible Andrew Toney.

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He detailed his introduction to Toney in his 2002 memoir which went on to become a bestseller. He revealed saw his shooting abilities in action in the chapter, ‘The Worst Thing About Playing Professional Sports.’

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My very first practice, there’s Toney shooting jumpers, and he’s in the process of making something like fifty straight shots. I called my friends after practice and said, ‘This guy, Andrew Toney, may be the best shooter I’ve ever seen.

Auburn star, Barkley came to the Sixers in 1984. Andrew Toney had started his career four years prior and was the NBA champion in 1983. His career spanned only eight seasons because of injuries, but remained memorable. At he peak of the 76ers-Celtics rivalry, his ability to dominate his opponents earned him the nickname, The Boston Strangler after he scored 34 points against them in one game.

Those very shooting abilities had impressed The Round Mound of Rebound. He’d go on to say on Inside the NBA that Toney was the best teammate he ever had. “It was unbelievable the way he shot. Man, we could have done some damage together,” he reiterated in his memoir.

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Barkley would then add a little lesser-known fact about his friendship with Toney. “He was just a tough old southern dude. (He’s also the one who got me started playing golf.)” It’s known that Chuck is a golf maniac. Now we know he got it from his favorite teammate.

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Charles Barkley’s love for golf

It appears that Barkley didn’t pick up any of Andrew Toney’s talent. According to one story, The Boston Strangler signed up at a Philadelphia course in Glen Mills under a pseudonym. He apparently convinced some Boston businessmen he’s a better golfer without revealing his NBA identity.

Barkley’s love for golf is disproportionate to his skills in golf. Michael Jordan and many fans begged him to give it up. Tiger Woods had trolled him on it several times. His skills don’t deter him from playing golf if it’s for a good cause. He partnered with Phil Mickelson and won a charity golf game with his help too.

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Toney apparently keeps in touch with the ’83 championship team. It’s unclear if he and Barkley connect for a round on the greens anymore. Wouldn’t you love to see these two Sixers icons in the same frame again?

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Written by:

Caroline John

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One take at a time

Caroline John is a senior NBA writer at EssentiallySports. With a Journalism degree from a reputed university, she left the team spellbound from day one. Her work ethic, dedication, and hardworking nature pushed her to bag publishing rights in the third month of her tenure at the organization.
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Edited by:

Aayush Kapoor

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