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Famous Fans: Basketball legend Barkley drops puck before Coyotes game

Former NBA star turned Emmy-winning broadcaster has strong ties to Arizona @NHLdotcom

Barkley's ceremonial puck drop

CHI@ARI: Charles Barkley drops the ceremonial puck

Charles Barkley makes an appearance at Gila River Arena and drops the ceremonial puck before the Coyotes take on the Blackhawks

  • 01:43 •

A basketball legend showed up at Gila River Arena on Monday night.

Charles Barkley, a Basketball Hall of Famer who still resides in Arizona [he was the 1993 MVP while leading the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals] is a noted hockey fan.

Clad in a custom sweater with No. 34, his number with the Suns, etched on it, Barkley dropped the ceremonial first puck between Coyotes defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson and Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews.

Barkley has said he got into hockey in the 1980s while playing for the Philadelphia 76ers. He became friendly with Flyers players Eric Lindros, who recently had his number retired by the organization, and former goalie Ron Hextall, who is currently the Flyers general manager.

Tweet from @FOXSPORTSAZ: Charles Barkley: Hello, #Yotes, I'm coming back

Last season, the Birmingham, Ala. surfaced as the Nashville Predators made their run to the 2017 Stanley Cup Final.

Barkley received a warm reception from the crowd in attendance and gave out fist bumps to Coyotes players on his way off the ice.

The 11-time NBA All-Star and two-time Olympic gold medalist has also become a three-time Emmy Award winning broadcaster, working for Turner Sports.

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