Charles Barkley Mark Jackson Photos via USA TODAY, edit by Liam McGuire, Comeback Media

With gambling at the forefront of everyone’s mind, especially with Shohei Ohtani’s scandal and Rece Davis’ comments about “risk-free investing,” it’s an interesting conversation to look back at some other gambling scandals that rocked sports. Just a few days ago, Mark Jackson went into detail about the time he and Charles Barkley were called into the commissioner’s office on The Mark Jackson Show, which is featured on the Come And Talk 2 Me channel.

In a conversation about the best trash talkers Jackson has personally faced, he mentioned Barkley and Gary Payton, among others. Jackson was in his second year in the NBA, playing for the New York Knicks, while Barkley was starring for the Philadelphia 76ers, when the two went shot for shot on the court, talking trash with one another.

After the game, Jackson was mobbed by the media. And having no idea what was going on, he was informed that Barkley told reporters that the two had bet on the game.

“So, next day, the New York headlines in the papers, ‘Jackson and Barkley bet on games,'” recalled Jackson. So now, the commissioner at the time, David Stern, sends a message: ‘Charles Barkley and Mark Jackson, get to New York headquarters immediately.’… We’re in the commissioner’s office, and (Stern) is like, ‘There is no betting in basketball. It will not be tolerated. I’ll throw you guys out of the league. How dare you guys even insinuate that you’re betting.'”

Jackson clarified that it was more of a playful challenge than a serious wager. He said they were betting on their own abilities—Jackson on crossing someone up and scoring and Barkley on dunking on an opponent.

“This is my second year; I ain’t make that kind of money. I’m not set for life; I need some help,” said Jackson. “So, I’m panicking in the office. He said, ‘I’m gonna give you 15 minutes; I’ll be right back with my decision.’

“I’m sitting there with Charles Barkley, an All-Star superstar, and it’s just me, worried about my future. The commissioner leaves out the room, Charles Barkley looks at me and goes, ‘I bet you he won’t throw us out the league.'”

It’s good to know that Barkley hasn’t changed a bit.

“I’m like, this dude is crazy, man,” continued Jackson. “This dude’s just crazy. He’s the ultimate trash talker on the court and, obviously, one of the all-time greats as far as TV and media is concerned.”

[The Mark Jackson Show]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.