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Sir Charles pondering comeback

ATLANTA — Charles Barkley says he is considering making a comeback next season, perhaps with the Washington Wizards.

"I am still thinking about it," Barkley said during halftime of TNT's telecast of the Minnesota-San Antonio game. "If I get myself in great shape and I feel good physically, I am going to play next year — but only if I can help a team.

"Right now I am a long way from that decision. Obviously I have to lose another 30 pounds, and if my knee feels stronger I am going to play."

Barkley, an 11-time All-Star, retired last year after playing 16 seasons. He works as an analyst for Turner Sports.

His statement on a possible comeback came one day after Sports Illustrated reported that Michael Jordan was strongly considering a comeback — a report quickly denied by Jordan and his agent. Jordan and Barkley are close friends.

"I can't control what Michael does. He's a grown man. Michael is Michael and Charles is Charles, but I speak only for Charles. It might be fun to play for Michael. He'd just have to get me under the cap.

"It's a long way away, and when I'm ready to make a decision I'll tell everybody," Barkley said. "I'm just using it as a motivational tool right now. The only way I can get up and work out twice a day for four or five hours is to use that (as motivation). I'm not going to do it simply to lose weight."