Charles Barkley Is Refusing To Allow His Video Game Playing Self In NBA 2K12

NBA 2K12 has a feature called “NBA Greatest Mode” included in their game this year, which we detailed here previously, and maybe you noticed that Charles Barkley isn’t a part of the fifteen member group of legendary players.  You might not have noticed though, because nobody is saying that the “Chuckster” is one of the greatest fifteen players of all-time, but he definitely could’ve been a part of a pretty cool team that’s featured in game this year though.  He was the starting PF as a rookie on the 1984-85 Dr. J led Sixers squad, but he won’t be playing for that team on video game screens everywhere in 2012.

The reasons have nothing to do with the fact that the only form of basketball played by Barkley these days is on the the video game hardwood exclusively either, nor is Barkley’s refusal in relation to any allegiance he has personally to Ed O’Bannon.  He didn’t say specifically why he won’t let the video game use his name in the game, and neither did the video game company.  A statement was issued from an NBA 2K12 Spokesperson yesterday, but it doesn’t really tell you all that much besides the fact that they still got love for Sir Charles.  Said the spokesman:   

“There’s no doubt in our minds that Charles is and should always be a key part of the conversation as it relates to who are the NBA’s Greatest players of all time,” a 2K Sports spokesperson told Kotaku. “We have a very positive relationship with Sir Charles and while we were unable to include him in-game this year for a variety of reasons, we share everyone’s hope that he may one day appear in our game.”

There has been no definitive reason given as to why an agreement couldn’t be reached between Barkley and NBA 2K12 specifically, but Owen Good from did speculate as to what a couple of those possibilities may have been. First one being about money, probably:

“Why Barkley couldn’t fit in may be due to money, what billing he receives in the game, or a combination of both. Barkley is a unique figure in that his television work for TNT’s NBA broadcasts keeps him prominent as one of basketball’s most commanding figures. Yet his playing record is, objectively, dwarfed by the game’s three different cover stars, and many of the others on the list of 15 legends. He has one MVP, one NBA Finals appearance and no championships. Nearly everyone else has multiple credentials in both categories.”

Second one possibly being about pride:

“Barkley may have asked for cover-level prominence, or equal footing to Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson and if he got that, it could make Erving look like the second banana on that ’85 Sixers team, which would be a very difficult spot in which to put the Doctor.”

I could totally hear Barkley saying,’you’re rating me a what as a rebounder?  That’s turrible, I was way better than that, man.’  It’d be cooler if I could’ve typed that like Frank Caliendo says it though.  Anyways, that Sixers team with a young, ferociously fit “Chuckster” alongside “The Doctor” would’ve been pretty cool to see in a video game for all those people like me not old enough to have watched in real life.  Not happening this year though.  Which leads me to wonder how much these guys actually get paid for being in video games like this? I have no clue, but it must be a decent amount if contract terms couldn’t reached in this case, right?  

Image: FN11’s Images

About Brendan Bowers

I am the founding editor of I am also a content strategist and social media manager with Electronic Merchant Systems in Cleveland. My work has been published in SLAM Magazine, KICKS Magazine, The Locker Room Magazine,,, and elsewhere. I've also written a lot of articles that have been published here.