Former Phoenix Suns forward and NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley said he’d only consider joining the next Suns ownership group if Barack Obama called him.
The Ringer founder Bill Simmons revealed that he heard the former president is involved in one of the groups preparing a Suns bid.
“I’m probably breaking some news here, but I heard Obama’s involved in one of the groups,” Simmons told Barkley on The Bill Simmons Podcast. “And that’s the one guy that I feel like they would make him the actual face [of the group]and the money guys would be so happy.”
This revelation piqued Barkley’s interest.
“If Obama called me, hell yeah I’m buying in,” Barkley told Simmons. “I got so much love and admiration for that guy.”
— The Ringer (@ringer) October 26, 2022
Longtime owner Robert Sarver announced in September that he is seeking buyers for the team as he serves a yearlong suspension after an investigation into alleged racist and misogynistic conduct.
Earlier in his conversation with Simmons, Barkley expressed a lack of interest in being a partial owner of the team, despite spending a quarter of his career in the Valley.
“I am very well paid, but I don’t have $4 billion just sitting around,” Barkley said. “I’m not going to waste a lot of money for 5% so I can say, ‘I’m one of the owners of a team.’
“My ego’s not like, ‘Yeah, I’m one of the owners of the Suns. I got like $20 million in it, I own a percentage.’ I’d probably rather have the $20 million, personally.”
Barkley made four All-Star teams as a Sun, averaging 23.4 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. He also won league MVP in 1992-93 when he averaged 25.6 points, 12.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists in 76 games for a Suns team that made the NBA Finals.