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Barkley Enters the Hall

The NBA great advises current players at his enshrinement. Wilkins, Dumars also inducted.

September 09, 2006|From the Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Charles Barkley played the comedian Friday during his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

But, behind the scenes, he sounded a lot like a role model.

He drew laughs by thanking his financial advisor for protecting his money, but threw in a little advice for today's players.

"I tell all these young kids, the money you make, save it, put it in the bank. That money has to last you the rest of your lifetime. Don't waste it," he said.

At the pre-induction news conference, he also took those players to task for a selfish style, and pointed to his own highlight films for those looking for an example of how the game should be played.

"I always tried as hard as I possibly could," Barkley said. "I like seeing that on tape. Today, they want to be stars. They don't want to be great players. We wanted to be great players."

Barkley averaged 22 points and almost 12 rebounds in 16 NBA seasons that included stops in Philadelphia, Phoenix and Houston. But it was his charismatic personality and outspoken style that made him a superstar.

He put that style on display Friday night, with one liners about not finishing his college education and being arrested several times.

"I was always acquitted," he said.

Barkley was enshrined with two other NBA greats, Dominique Wilkins and Joe Dumars, former Big East commissioner Dave Gavitt, Connecticut women's coach Geno Auriemma and Italian coach Sandro Gamba.

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(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX)

Class of 2006

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The six players and coaches inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame:

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* Charles Barkley: Averaged 22 points and almost 12 rebounds in 16 NBA seasons.

* Joe Dumars: Helped the Detroit Pistons win NBA titles in 1989-90, earning Finals MVP honors in '89.

* Dominique Wilkins: Nine-time NBA All-Star whose aerial acrobatics earned him the nickname "The Human Highlight Film."

* Geno Auriemma: Has coached the University of Connecticut women to five national championships.

* Sandro Gamba: Has coached five Italian League champions.

* Dave Gavitt: Served as the chair of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee from 1982 to 1984 and is credited with the expansion of the tournament to 64 teams.

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Source: www.hoophall.com

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