Sun, Sep 10, 2006 - Page 24 News List

The `Round Mound of Rebound' humbled by induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame

AGENCIES , NEW YORK

Charles Barkley, so often outspoken throughout his career, humbly accepted his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday.

Joining Barkley in the sport's honor shrine were retired NBA stars Dominique Wilkins and Joe Dumars, former Italian national coach Sandro Gamba, US college women's coach Geno Auriemma and US college executive Dave Gavitt.

But as it so often was during his 16-year career the spotlight was firmly focused on Barkley during the induction ceremonies held in Springfield, Massachusetts.

"It's been an incredible journey," Barkley said during his induction speech. "I'm 43 years old, never had a job and don't want one."

"I am so lucky and honored. One thing I am conscious of, when I see all these Hall of Famers, is what they have done for me," he said.

A member of the original US Dream Team, the barrel-chested Barkley was a nightmare to defend against, averaging 22 points and almost 12 rebounds in 16 seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets.

An 11-times all-star, Barkley joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Karl Malone as the only players in NBA history to compile at least 20,000 points, 10,000 rebounds and 4,000 assists.

Voted one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players, Barkley claimed a gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and numerous individual honors, including the league MVP award in 1993.

But Barkley ended his career in 2000 without winning an NBA championship.

Wilkins, nicknamed the "Human Highlight Film" for his spectacular dunks and athleticism, also had a career filled with individual honors including nine consecutive all-star selections and the 1986 NBA scoring record when he averaged 30.3 points per game.

He was also twice winner of the Slam Dunk competition and one of only 12 players to score 25,000 points.

A six-times all-star, Dumars spend his entire 14-year career in Detroit helping the Pistons to two NBA titles and earning finals MVP honors in 1989.

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