If you’ve been watching NBA TV at all this summer â€“ and I’m sure you have if you’re like me â€“ you must’ve noticed how often they play Game 3 from the 1994 first round series between Phoenix and Golden State. I’ve seen parts of that game probably four or five times. It was Chris Webber‘s first taste of the postseason and one of the final bites in the prime of Charles Barkley‘s career. C-Webb seemed at times, for all of his Fab Five-ness, a respectful young kid. But he crossed the line with his infamous regular season dunk over the reigning MVP. You know the one: catch it on the break, flick it around the back for no reason other than because he can, and then shove the ball down Barkley’s throat after stepping off his Flight No. 4.
That was cool, killed the replays, made the fans ooh and aah. Charles can take a beatdown. Back in the day, Jordan, Bird and Isiah gave him some all the time. But when C-Webb made this appearance in the 1993 Nike Basketball commercial campaign, you might remember it, he was rubbing salt in the wound.
After searching for the succession of videos from this campaign, I found them in all their glory on FreeDarko. Check them out.
Back before he became the staple of a good, but not-quite-killer Kings squad, you forget that Webber seemed like he had it all. I guess a Nike commercial set in a barbershop with some Charles Wright playing can make anyone look good, even a pre-P.J. Latrell Sprewell, who gets to play a part in this scene.
How bad was the Barkley clowning? There’s a reason that Game 3 in the playoffs of the season gets so much airtime nowadays. Barkley got his revenge by ending Webber’s season with 56 points and 14 rebounds. Who’s the role model now?
There’s something organic about a pro basketball player sprawled out in a corner barbershop talking about the first player he ever dunked on. We aren’t sure if C-Webb is acting in this, but if you watched this back in ’93 â€“ before everything that came later â€“ you might’ve said I wanna rock those dude’s sneakers. If you need to know, that’s “Strawberry Letter 23” playing in the background.
Apparently, if you wear his Nikes, you’ll be like Chris and you’ll find girls named Amanda who like to fantasize about you when you aren’t there, dream about shaping your hair up and swoons at the mention of your name. And you wonder why Nike’s commercials always kill it? There’s the man Mitch Richmond in there too which takes this ad to another level. Watching these makes me want to starting rocking the sweat suits again.
Is George Gervin not the most 1970s dude you’ve ever seen? Listening to him explain the move that made him famous is like nothing in this world. So what if he never really won anything? Nowadays, all anyone cares about is the finger roll, and how cool Ice was.
Seriously, how did they get Rodman and David Robinson in the same commercial, sitting side by side in a barbershop? We would’ve loved to have been there for that.
This is about as normal as you will ever see the Worm, cheesing the whole way through a haircut from Elise Neal, surrounding by the Admiral and Tim Hardaway, talking about rings don’t mean anything. I didn’t say this was normal did I?
Alonzo Mourning “dropping knowledge” on C-Webb. This was like the meeting of the minds between two “Real cool dudes who could’ve been better players but for some reason weren’t, yet they were still really good and memorable” guys.
What do you think?
Follow Sean on Twitter at @SEANesweeney.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.