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Trail Blazers Pay Off Charles Barkley for Decades-Old Travel Expense

The TNT commentator shared a story about a clandestine recruiting trip in the 1990’s and the Blazers made good on his back travel costs.

Celebrities Attend The 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Four Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Earlier this week, TNT commentator and NBA Hall-of-Fame member Charles Barkley recounted a story from the 1990’s in which he made a clandestine trip to visit the Portland Trail Blazers in hopes of convincing them to trade for him. Then a member of the Philadelphia 76ers, Barkley supposedly flew “on his own dime” to lay out potential trades for Portland to pursue. According to Barkley, Portland’s General Manager called the next day and told him that they were not going to make a deal for him, leaving him upset and his bank account short $1197.

The video clip wherein Barkley shares the story is here:

As you can see, TNT called out the Trail Blazers via Twitter. The team responded in kind the next day:

As it turns out, the gesture was not just for show. During TNT’s coverage of the 2018 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard showed up on set to hand-deliver Barkley’s check for the specified amount. Lillard’s direct quote while playing mailman was, “On behalf of my team, we pay our debts.” Barkley then thanked the Blazers and said drinks at the crew party were on him.

The video of the check exchange is here, enduring evidence that Barkley and the Blazers are now even.