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Thunder-Spurs: Charles Barkley donates autographed boots to Oklahoma City bombing memorial

Memorial executive director Kari Watkins said the donation was Barkley's way of saying thanks for telling him the story.
by Jenni Carlson Published: June 4, 2012

Those tears you saw in Charles Barkley's eyes Saturday night when he was talking about his visit to the Oklahoma City bombing memorial — they were genuine.

The TNT analyst was so touched by what he saw there Friday afternoon during a tour of Oklahoma City that he met with memorial executive director Kari Watkins before leaving town Sunday morning.

The reason?

He wanted the memorial to have one of the pair of cowboy boots that he'd been given during his time in Oklahoma City.

“Barkley ... said, 'Put these in your office, auction them off or put them on display,'” Watkins said, ‘but it is my way of saying thanks for telling me this story. I have never been so moved.”

Barkley signed the boots, which were a gift from the Thunder presented by Rumble during pregame festivities. They are now on display in a case in the lobby of the memorial museum.

Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith also met with Watkins on Sunday morning. Barkley's fellow analysts had done their own tours of the memorial and had similar stories.

“They all ... talked about the power of the place,” Watkins said.

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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