Originally created 09/09/06

Selection to hall is humbling to Barkley



SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Charles Barkley loves watching films of himself playing basketball.

He says it's not a narcissistic thing, it's about seeing basketball played hard, with players giving 100 percent and the game coming before the individual.

"I always tried as hard as I possibly could," Barkley said Friday before his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. "I like seeing that on tape. Today, they want to be stars. They don't want to be great players. We wanted to be great players."

Two other greats from Barkley's era, Former Atlanta Hawk Dominique Wilkins and Detroit Piston Joe Dumars, were to be inducted Friday night, as part of a Hall of Fame class that also includes former Big East Commissioner Dave Gavitt, Connecticut women's coach Geno Auriemma and Italian coach Sandro Gamba.

Barkley, Auriemma and Gavitt were first-ballot selections.

Barkley, who averaged 22 points and almost 12 rebounds per game in 16 NBA seasons, is not known for his humility. But he called it a humbling experience to be placed in the company of other Hall-of-Famers from his era - players such as Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.

"It was the best," Barkley said. "When you compare these little rinky-dink teams you all got now to Bird's Celtics, Magic's Lakers and Michael's Bulls - they'd kill these guys you all got winning today."

The Pistons were also pretty good, winning two championships in 1989 and 1990 with Joe Dumars at guard.

Like Barkley, Wilkins never won a championship. But he was a nine-time NBA All-Star and a two-time NBA Slam Dunk Champion known as "the Human Highlight Reel" for his dunks. It's a nickname he doesn't much care for.

"Dunking was just a small part of my game," he said. "Dunking was just an intimidating tool I used. I had a much more rounded game than just dunking. To get 26,000 points, you don't get them all on dunks."