Charles Barkley is in the news today for the continuation of his back-and-forth feud with Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green.
Barkley went on The Dan Patrick Show where he compared Green to the least important member of a boy band.
"He's the least famous person in the boy band, and he thinks he's a star. And he's not. He's lucky to be in the boy band. He thinks all the girls are screaming for him. No, they're screaming for Justin Timberlake.”
-Charles Barkley on Draymond Green
(? The Dan Patrick Show) pic.twitter.com/lN42YXYsVw
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) March 10, 2020
And hey, that could probably have been a post on its own, because it is kind of funny, especially where Barkley drags Green for 45 seconds and then notes at the end how much he likes him. But there was another Barkley story that seemed worth highlighting more. That’s this Cindy Boren piece in the Washington Post, which cites a local radio interview and details Barkley’s plan to sell off a lot of his own memorabilia in an effort to raise money to build affordable housing in his hometown of Leeds, Alabama.
It’s a fairly incredible story, as Barkley takes an enlightened view on the value of objects vs. the needs of people with less.
“That stuff’s not that important to me. I’ve had an unbelievable life,” Barkley told Birmingham’s WJOX-FM last week, explaining why he isn’t sentimentally attached to his possessions. “I’ve been in Leeds a lot and we’ve probably got 30 eyesores, as I call them, where houses used to be when I was growing up. Either a rotted-out house or there’s just weeds that have overgrown.
“So, what I’m trying to do — I want to work with the city of Leeds, I want them to give me the spaces, number one. I want them to give me the houses, and I’m going to use my own money, selling my memorabilia.”
Panini, a sports card and memorabilia company that Barkley has a relationship with, estimated that the MVP trophy alone could fetch $300,000 to $400,000, Barkley said. And his 1992 and 1996 Olympic gold medals? “ ‘I don’t even want to guess,’ ” Barkley said he was told, “ ‘but I can get you a lot for those gold medals.’ ”
It’s clearly a cause close to Barkley’s heart, and he has at least some specifics as to what he hopes to do once the money is raised:
“I want to do something really nice for Leeds. And if I could build 10 to 20 affordable houses — I want to do green housing, too,” he said. “If I could sell all that stuff, it would just be a really cool thing for me.”
10 to 20 affordable homes might not seem like much in the grand scheme of the world’s many problems, but tell that to the 10-20 people or families that would benefit in such a completely immersive way from this gesture.
It’s a good reminder that while Barkley is far from a perfect person, and that he’s much more likely to get headlines for his objectively entertaining rants or even just for his basketball analysis, he’s a lot more complex than just that. And if you have half a million and want to buy an Olympic medal, please let him know.