Charles Barkley Explains Why He’s Not in NBA 2K Video Games

The NBA 2K video games feature a who’s who of current and past stars from basketball. However, one name has been noticeably absent forever. Sir Charles Barkley, aka the “Round Mound of Rebound” hasn’t been in the game. In his mind it’s for a very good reason as it’s due to the payment situation involving many former players.

Charley Barkley clarified NBA 2K situation in kid’s interview

Longtime NBA 2K fans have probably noticed by now that Charley Barkley is never a playable star in the game. During an interview in July for a kid’s YouTube channel, he spoke about his absence from the NBA 2K series. He said he is asked that question quite often over the years. That’s understandable due to him being arguably the biggest star not in the franchise.

“They pay those guys to do it and they make 300 million dollars a year and they pay the guys chump change and I’m like no I’m not doing that,” Barkley said.

“I said, ‘Give the old retired players a million dollars and I’ll be in the video game.’ They said, “We’ll pay you the same thing we pay others.’ I said, ‘I’m not like the others.’”

Barkley went on to say he’s talking about other retired players and those older than himself too. Chuck believes they deserve more money to be part of the game. Basically, he’s looking to help out some of the older players who may not have the financial situation he or other major stars do after their playing days.

“There’s players older than me who didn’t make any money. Those are the guys, they’re older and probably need the money, so that’s why I’m not in the video game,” he said.

The 1992-93 NBA MVP said he regularly refuses to be in NBA 2K even though they try to get him to be in the game all the time.

Barkley starred for the Philadelphia 76ers for the first eight seasons of his career, before a four-season stint with the Phoenix Suns. He’d wrap up his career after another four seasons playing for the Houston Rockets.

All three franchises have Classic Teams and All-Time teams in the game, minus one of the biggest members of their respective rosters.

Other major stars appear as players, analysts

Charles Barkley is not only absent from the All-Time and Classic teams in NBA 2K video games, he also refuses to appear as part of the analysts. The game has featured Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith, and sideline reporter David Aldridge, all of whom are Barkley’s colleagues for the NBA on TNT coverage.

Kenny Smith and Shaq are both players who have appeared in the game as players, though. In fact, Shaq is regularly amongst promoted stars for different content in the game such as MyTeam packs or cards.

Many will argue that Shaq is a bigger legend than Barkley. The same goes for Michael Jordan, who many fans consider the greatest of all-time. MJ has appeared in the game annually as well. Other top stars in the game include Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Julius Erving, and Bill Russell. Just this past weekend, a special MyTeam event featured Ralph Sampson as a special reward card.

The late Kobe Bryant of the Lakers is part of the game regularly. For NBA 2K21 he’s the featured cover star for a special Mamba Forever Edition of the game. This also includes a copy of the upcoming next-gen version of the title for PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X.

Per a Venture Beat report, Take-Two Interactive, the company that publishes the NBA 2K series, reported $3 billion in sales last fiscal year. However, the only way gamers will experience playing as Charles Barkley is by creating him as a player for the free agents or MyPlayer/MyCareer mode in the game.

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