Barkley, Dumars, Wilkens headline Hall of Fame class

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

INDIANAPOLIS -- Charles Barkley earned his reputation as one of the NBA's best forwards -- and biggest talkers.

On Monday, Barkley was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame, along with five other coaches and former players, two of whom he played against many times.

Two of his new Hall-of-Fame colleagues -- Joe Dumars and Dominique Wilkins -- heard plenty of Barkley's rants on and off the court during the 1980s and 1990s.

"I could hear him before the game one time," Dumars said of Barkley. "All I know is that there was a lot of talking going on early, like in the first 2 or 3 minutes."

The other inductees are Connecticut women's coach Geno Auriemma, Italian coach Sandro Gamba and longtime contributor Dave Gavitt. All six will be inducted in Springfield, Mass., in September.

Auriemma, like Barkley and Gavitt, was selected in his first year on the ballot.

Wilkins was a nine-time All-Star and won two Slam Dunk titles in a 17-year career, but was left off the NBA's 50th anniversary team.

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