Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan are close friends, proving opposites attract, if we’re judging by appearances. For everything Mike was, Chuck wasn’t. When we think of MJ, quick words come to mind: champion, competitive, graceful, a paragon of athletic success. Then there’s Sir Charles, who balled in a boorish manner, vividly more outspoken, was more force than athletic beauty and famously dropped the now infamous line about who should raising America’s kids (Even if he shunned it, Barkley was still one of my role models.).
Despite their differences, the two shared a few key traits. Charles’ competitiveness was just as fierce as Mike’s and, speaking in a retail sense, his ability to push product for Nike was equally as noteworthy. Surely no one will ever top Jordan at cash registers. Reportedly, the guy still makes $60 million annually off sneaker royalties. But Charles is one of the few big men in basketball and footwear history who was able to sell shoes, something that’s just not supposed to happen. Part of the success was due to Nike finding a way to capture Barkley’s wit and character into selling points that attracted people. The end result left CB – along with a handful other athletes – as one of Nike’s best endorsers.
Which is why it’s cool to see Nike honoring Barkley, who turned 50 this year just like Jordan, in different ways this year and having success with the new Barkley Posite Max model. Designed by Marc Dolce, the shoe’s an aggressively and edgy design that fits the mold of what Sir Charles would wear were he on the court today. Then there’s this “Past Meets Present” feature where Chuck talks of his nearly 30 year relationship with Swoosh, complete with video and illustrations.
Previously — #CB50: Happy Birthday, Charles Barkley