Barkley recruited Dirk Nowitzki to Auburn

Few people can better turn an NBA yarn than Charles Barkley. Case in point: This linked video, posted this weekend on Dirk Nowitzki's newly launched YouTube stream, of Barkley in the locker room at a celebrity softball tournament.

The Round Mound of Rebound recounted the first time he saw Nowitzki, a future Hall of Famer with the Dallas Mavericks, play. Dirk torched "Michael, Scottie, a bunch of guys, like, NBA players" in an international game. Naturally, Barkley immediately tried to (illegally) recruit the 18-year-old German prodigy to play at his alma mater, Auburn.

"I said, 'where you going to play at?' He said, 'I have to go in the army." I said, 'you can't go in the army playing like that.' So I call Nike and I says, 'find out about this kid and tell him I'll give him anything he wants to go to Auburn. Just tell him, anything he wants, we'll get it done.'"

Barkley also has a few funny words on the subject of SMU and recruiting in the SEC, and calls the $200,000 Cam Newton scandal at Auburn "a good investment."

Auburn football fans may recoil, but naturally this is all done with tongue planted firmly in cheek. You should not come away from this video thinking Barkley just confirmed the infamous Auburn scandal. Rather, you should come away thinking two things:

1. Charles Barkley is hilarious. (Duh.)

2. Dirk could have been the second-best player in Auburn basketball history. Oh, what could have been.

(Hat tips: SB Nation's Mike Rutherford, Beyond the Arc)