If you’ve been watching NBA TV at all this summer – and I’m sure you have if you’re like me – you must’ve noticed how often they play Game 3 from the 1994 first round series between Phoenix and Golden State. I’ve seen parts of that game probably four or five times. It was Chris Webber’s first taste of the postseason and one of the final bites in the prime of Charles Barkley’s career. C-Webb seemed at times, for all of his Fab Five-ness, a respectful young kid. But he crossed the line with his infamous regular season dunk over the reigning MVP. You know the one: catch it on the break, flick it around the back for no reason other than because he can, and then shove the ball down Barkley’s throat after stepping off his Flight No. 4.
That was cool, killed the replays, made the fans ooh and aah. Charles can take a beatdown. Back in the day, Jordan, Bird and Isiah gave him some all the time. But when C-Webb made this appearance in the 1993 Nike Basketball commercial campaign, you might remember it, he was rubbing salt in the wound.
After searching for the succession of videos from this campaign, I found them in all their glory on FreeDarko. Check them out.
Back before he became the staple of a good, but not-quite-killer Kings squad, you forget that Webber seemed like he had it all. I guess a Nike commercial set in a barbershop with some Charles Wright playing can make anyone look good, even a pre-P.J. Latrell Sprewell, who gets to play a part in this scene.
How bad was the Barkley clowning? There’s a reason that Game 3 in the playoffs of the season gets so much airtime nowadays. Barkley got his revenge by ending Webber’s season with 56 points and 14 rebounds. Who’s the role model now?