We all know that Charles Barkley doesn’t pull any punches. Auburn probably wishes he had.
Holding court recently at Dirk Nowitzki’s charity baseball game in Frisco, TX, Barkley began telling a story about when he first saw Dirk Nowitzki play basketball as a teenager in 1997, then tried to bribe the Dallas Mavericks’ star into playing college hoops at his alma mater.
It was a suggested payment that Barkley compared to wooing Cam Newton.
Barkley said that Nowitzki had burst onto the scene in an eye-opening 1997 “Hoop Heroes Tour” game against NBA stars in Germany.
“I was like ‘Dude, who the hell are you?’” Barkley said. “… (Nowitzki) says, ‘I have to go in the army,’ I said, ‘Dude, you can’t go in the army playing like that.’
“… I call Nike, I say find out about this kid, tell him I’ll give him anything he wants to go to Auburn. Just tell him, anything he wants, we’ll get it done.”
Barkley went on to reference former Heisman-winning QB Newton, who led Auburn to a national championship in 2010. The Hall of Famer then said that Nowitzki would have been “taken care of” just like Newton.
“Everyone wants to give us a hard time about giving Cam Newton $200,000 … that’s called a damn good investment,” Barkley said.
While rumors have swirled about Auburn grabbing Newton with illegal payments up to $200,000, no wrongdoing has been uncovered by the NCAA.
Check the video below, in which Barkley was, well, half-joking as he was getting laughs in the locker room. We don’t know if the Chuckster, a former Auburn basketball player, has any information but the Auburn athletic department will probably be reaching out to Barkley in the near future about these comments. Charles Barkley profile