Sad news for former Houston Rocket Charles Barkley as we learned his mother Charcey Glenn died Friday. Barkley’s mother is said to have passed away at her home in Alabama due to kidney failure at the age of 73.
For those who follow Sir Charles he is beloved by many for a myriad of reasons. First there was his prowess on the court during his 15 year career which spanned from 1985 to 2000. In total he played for three teams; eight seasons to the team he was drafted by: the Philadelphia Seventy Sixers, four seasons with the Phoenix Suns and his final four seasons of his career with the Houston Rockets.
His time in Houston was marred by injuries that kept him off the court over his tenure there. He played 68 games in his second season with the Rockets, but his last season ended with him only suiting up for 20 games. Still, the player who managed to balance ebullience and cockiness like no other player before or since was able to post averages of 16.25 points, 12 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1 steal per game in his 4 seasons as a Rocket.
When viewing the “Clutch City” documentary recently we saw how strong the Phoenix Suns teams he played on were and they figured prominently in the Clutch City back to back titles. In their first championship season the Suns took the first two games in Houston and pushed the series to 7 games. In their title defense the Suns led by Barkley once again jumped out to an early series lead this time going up 3 games to 1 prior to the Rockets rallying back to move on and were the only team to push Houston to the limit.
Barkley for his part was a beast both years averaging 23.4 points, 12.85 rebounds, 4.41 assists, 2.28 steals and 1 block in the 1993-94 series and 22.8 points, 13.28 rebounds, 3.14 assists, 1.14 steals and 0.85 blocks in the 1994-95 series.
Barkley changed the concept of what a power forward was long before the stretch power forward became popular as his diminished size at the position (6’6″) in an era where the center reigned supreme never stopped his ability to out perform players much taller. Like Draymond Green he was able to do things not common for his size often posting 20-20 games versus players 5 to 6 inches taller.
He was often cited for being out spoken, however it was his human touch which jumped out to the world when he was spotted socializing with the crowds in Barcelona during the Dream Team Olympic journey. Though that team was comprised of arguably the best players ever to be assembled on one team, few people realize though Barkley came off the bench he was the player who scored the highest points per game on the squad.
Following his retirement he joined the NBA TV crew as part of the Thursday night Game Time trio of Ernie Johnson and Kenny “the Jet” Smith a member of the Houston Rockets championship Clutch City teams. Ironically Smith who has such a strong chemistry with Barkley had left the Rockets the year Barkley joined (1996-97) for his final season where he played on 3 different teams (Detroit, Orlando, Denver). For many younger fans of the game it is his presence on this show where they know him best and his oft jokingly ridiculed soft spot for his dogs Mango and Yoo Hoo and his close relationship with his mother.
I remember fondly three specific videos which highlighted the character of Charles mother:
- The Superman story: where he tried to fly
- The NBA Game Time Mother’s Day story: where she explained how he was punished for “going fishing” without adult supervision
- And perhaps the most poignant, the recent ESPN piece discussing his home town Leeds and how Charles comes by his strong opinions.
It was obvious through the three video’s how strong his mother was and where Charles character was developed. Whether you are like me and adore Barkley or not, it’s obvious he was raised by a lady of character and strength.
We here at Space City Scoop extend our heartfelt condolences to Charles for his loss and send our warmest wishes to him during this difficult time.
More from Space City Scoop
- Rockets: Time to return the slander towards Rachel Nichols
- What the Rockets must do with the second overall pick
- Houston Rockets: The case for, and against, trading Christian Wood
- NBA Rumors: Why the Houston Rockets shouldn’t trade up to no. 1 in NBA Draft
- 3 players that would be a perfect fit for the Houston Rockets at 23 or 24