According to Barkley, he was almost dealt to the Lakers by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1992.
"I got traded to the Lakers one day and the Sixers retracted the deal," Barkley told SI.com.
"The Sixers back out. It was going crazy for two weeks so I knew it would come down to Portland, [the] Lakers or Phoenix," he continued. "So I get a call from my agent one morning and he said, 'Philly has traded you to the Lakers.'"
How did the Hall of Fame power forward react to the news?
"I went to lunch and started drinking," Barkley said. "Three hours later I get a ... phone call from my agent saying the Sixers backed out of the deal."
Instead of joining the Lakers, Barkley said, he returned to his team and played for the Sixers, albeit slightly inebriated.
After a lean decade, the Lakers eventually returned to the top with titles in 2000, 2001 and 2002 built around Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant -- something that would not have come to pass had the team acquired Barkley.