Barkley to Hire Security

Associated Press

Charles Barkley was presented with a simple choice by the NBA: Retire or hire security guards.

Barkley, who met with league officials Friday, chose to keep playing. But the Houston Rocket star said he must make lifestyle changes to avoid the type of situations such as the barroom brawl he got into last weekend.

“The league told me that every time I go out, I need to take security guards with me,” Barkley said after a 90-minute meeting with deputy commissioner Russ Granik and vice president of security Horace Balmer.


“No matter what anyone says or does to me, I will not be baited. If someone throws a drink at me, I’ll let my security guards handle it,” Barkley said.

He said he won’t back down from previous statements that he did nothing wrong by tossing 20-year-old Jorge Lugo through a window of a bar in Orlando, Fla., after Lugo allegedly threw a glass of ice on Barkley and three women sitting with him.

“The whole thing could have been avoided if he didn’t throw a drink at me,” Barkley said. “I’m here, and he’s sitting at home waiting to sue me and counting his money.

“It doesn’t matter who is right or who is wrong. It is just embarrassing for me when something like this happens.”

Barkley flew back to Houston after the meeting at league headquarters and arrived in time for the season opener. He was replaced by Kevin Willis in the starting lineup against the Cleveland Cavaliers, then checked into the game late in the first quarter.

The league said no punishment is planned for Barkley.

Earlier this year, the NBA suspended Allen Iverson for the season opener and Isaiah Rider for the first two games after illegal off-the-court behavior. Barkley has not been convicted of any crime.



Veteran point guard Sherman Douglas signed a one-year contract with the New Jersey Nets just hours before the season opener against the Indiana Pacers. Terms were not disclosed, but sources close to the team said Douglas is getting the league minimum of $272,500. He is also getting $4 million from Cleveland as part of his old contract.


Detroit guard Joe Dumars pulled a hamstring during the second quarter of the Pistons’ opener against the Washington Wizards and is expected to be sidelined up to two weeks.