OUTRAGEOUS! by Charles Barkley


The Fine Life and Flagrant Good Times of Basketball's Irresistible Force
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 Aptly titled, this autobiography of the Philadelphia 76ers' ``Round Mound of Rebound,'' written with Sports Illustrated's Johnson, is calculated for full shock value--and delivers. It also provides an entertaining, unabashedly honest look at the NBA's most controversial star. Following three stormy years at Auburn Univ., where he was ``the second best athlete'' on campus (after Bo Jackson), Barkley was the Sixers' 1984 first-round draft pick. Four inches over six feet, a ``cannonball amid men,'' the five-time All-Star, despite his weight problems, is the rebound king: ``any nitwit can score.'' Meanwhile, his career has been marked by one controversy after another, the most notorious being the March 1991 spitting incident in which he aimed at a heckling fan--``the guy's lucky to be alive''--and hit an eight-year-old girl. The league fined him $10,000. In all, Barkley has paid over $100,000 in fines. ``My mouth,'' he writes, ``has probably cost me at least $1 million'' in endorsements. Certainly his comments here do little to curry favor. He blasts the NBA for not doing more about obnoxious fans; warns owner Harold Katz that if his ``moves don't work, maybe I'll do something drastic'' in the middle of the 1991-92 season; continues his criticism of teammates Manute Bol (``a one-dimensional player'') and Armon Gilliam (``Mr. Macho''), and claims that the ``NCAA is committing grand larceny by not paying college athletes.'' Sure to rankle fans, players, officials, and the media, Barkley frankly admits that ``the main reason'' he'll be on the 1992 Olympic team ``is because it's a free trip to Spain....Give somebody else the gold medal; I just want the gold.'' Barkley will win few friends here, but his blatant honesty is perversely refreshing and likely of wide appeal. (Eight pages of b&w photographs--not seen.)

Pub Date: Jan. 22nd, 1992
ISBN: 0-671-73799-6
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 1991