As an NBA analyst, Charles Barkley enjoys using the phrase "tight sphincter" to discribe the unease and anxiety that comes over a player when he is in the clutch situation. This is something that Barkley is more than qualified to address, since he had three years of experience seeing the collective jitters in the clutch from his own teammates while a member of the Suns.
In 1993, Barkley boldly proclaimed that God wanted his team to win the title. His team then proceeded to choke the first two games at home in the 1993 finals against the Bulls. No team before had ever lost two straight finals home games. Then, in the Suns carried a 4 point lead in the final 30 seconds of game 6 of the finals and watched as John Paxton drilled a three-point daggar in their hearts.
Well, luckily Michael Jordan retired after that season and they had a chance to win a title again. And after taking a 2-0 lead on the Houston Rockets in 1994, they were feeling pretty good about their prospects. But Hakeem Olajuwon took over from their as the league MVP led the Rockets to 4 wins in the next 5 games to take the series.
The Suns had a chance for redemption in 1995, when they once again had the Rockets on the ropes. Up 3-1 in the series, Charles Barkley proclaimed, "we're in good shape, we're in great shape, all we have to do is finish them off."
He clearly underestimated the heart of a champion.
The Rockets took three straight games and won the series as Mario Elie's daggar three eliminated the Suns in game 7.
Barkley would leave the Suns and join the Rockets where he would be eliminated in 1997 by John Stockton's daggar three in the Western Conference Finals.
Does that mean that Barkley would have a ring if his teammates played better defense at the 3-point line?
The world will never know.