Inside the NBA

“I took all my clothes off because I had these three guys who were trying to beat me up. I wanted them to think I was crazy.”

By Dan Gartland
May 16, 2019

Charles Barkley was one of the most intimidating players of his era, but that didn’t stop a group of punks in Milwaukee from trying to fight him in 1991. 

During Wednesday night’s edition of “Inside the NBA,” Chuck gave his hilarious account of the time he was arrested in Milwaukee after being accosted by three guys outside a bar at 2:30 a.m. 

“I took all my clothes off because I had these three guys who were trying to beat me up,” Barkley said. “I wanted them to think I was crazy [because it was snowing]. I was improvising, I’m like the Marines.”

Barkley, who described the men as “weightlifters,” further improvised by employing tactics from The Karate Kid

“This one guy kept standing right in front of me,” Barkley explained. “I said ‘wipe on, wipe off’ and two guys backed up. This one fool was standing right there and I hit his ass as hard as I could. I broke his nose. No shirt, no shoes, no problem.”

The fight occurred in the wee hours of Dec. 22, 1991, after Barkley’s 76ers lost to the Bucks. Barkley’s version, as entertaining as it is, actually leaves out some of the best details. 

According to the Associated Press, Barkley told police that he and a woman were leaving a bar downtown when 25-year-old James R. McCarthy said to him, “Charles, I hear you’re one of the baddest dudes in the NBA. You’re so tough on the court. Show me how tough you are.”

Barkley then punched McCarthy in the face, breaking his nose. The woman drove Barkley back to his hotel, where he was arrested at about 7 a.m. He was charged with misdemeanor battery and disorderly conduct. Barkley successfully argued at a trial that June that he was acting in self-defense and was found not guilty. 

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