Portland Trail Blazers

Charles Barkley gets paid back by the Portland Trail Blazers

After taking a trip to Portland to see about a trade to the Trail Blazers years ago, Charles Barkley has finally been paid back.

In terms of sports studio shows, TNT’s “Inside The NBA” is one of the best out there. On Thursday night, live from Los Angeles, Charles Barkley told a story about taking an offseason trip to Portland to see about a trade to the Trail Blazers as his time with the Philadelphia 76ers turned sour.

The Trail Blazers made a couple NBA Finals appearances in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, and Barkley would have looked pretty good alongside Clyde Drexler when both guys were in their prime. Of course a deal to bring Barkley to Portland did not get done, and he was eventually traded to the Phoenix Suns in 1992.

But Barkley clearly hasn’t forgotten about what may have been a cross-country trip 25-30 years later, and exactly how much the trip cost him for airfare and probably a hotel for a night. In the estimation of “Sir Charles”, the Trail Blazers still owed him that money.

After Sunday’s All-Star Game at Staples Center, Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard visited the TNT set with a little gift for Barkley.

Lillard brought a check from the Trail Blazers for $1,197, which Barkley precisely remembered as how much the ultimately fruitless meeting of the minds with Portland’s general manager cost him. It looked like an official document from the team, and Lillard backed it up by saying “we pay our debts.”

Barkley definitely valued the story more than the money, which he doesn’t really need. He even said he’ll frame the check from the Trail Blazers as a memento, rather than do anything with it. But it’s nice to see a debt get paid back, if only as a ceremonial gesture.

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