This Story Of Charles Barkley’s Unlikely Friendship With A Cat Litter Scientist Is Truly Beautiful ????❤️

The lasting friendship between a cat litter scientist from Iowa and NBA legend Charles Barkley has captured the internet’s heart.

Last week, during an episode of NPR’s Only a Game, journalist Shirley Wang revealed that her father, Lin Wang, and Barkley, who has had a successful career as a television NBA analyst since retiring from a storied career as a basketball player, met in Sacramento, where Lin Wang was on a business trip.

Wang, a big fan of Barkley’s, asked to take a photo. They did, and decided to get dinner together after striking up a conversation.

“And, before we know it, we looked at each other, like, ‘Yo, man, I’m hungry. Let’s go to dinner,’” Barkley told Shirley.

“It turned into a two-hour dinner. And then we actually went back to the bar and just sit there and talked for another couple of hours. And the rest is history.”

The men became fast friends. Before long, Barkley was introducing Lin to his inner circle, including fellow NBA star Shaquille O’Neal.

Lin also attended Barkley’s mother’s funeral in 2015. Barkley recalls his friend’s presence “meant a great deal to me.”

“Your dad is one of the happiest people I’ve ever met in my life,” Barkley said of his friend.

“I’m not just saying that — I mean, think about it: It’s fun to be with your friends, you know? ’Cause, I don’t have that many friends that I want to be around, to be honest with you.”

“I mean, you know a lot of people. But when you go spend time with your friends, it’s a whole different animal.”

Lin was diagnosed with cancer in 2016. But he did not tell Barkley right away.

Barkley recalled:

“I was, like, ‘Dude, we’re friends. You can tell me. You’re not bothering me. You know me well enough — if you were bothering me, I would tell you you were bothering me’.”

Sadly, Lin died in June 2018. His funeral was held the day after the Golden State Warriors—his favorite team—won the NBA finals.

Charles Barkley delivered the eulogy for his friend.

Journalist Shirley Wang said:

“Later, after it all, I texted Barkley and asked him: ‘Why my dad? Why did he matter so much to you?’ And recently, I called him up and asked: ‘What did you even have to talk about?'”

“Well, I think — first of all, clearly, he was a fan,” Barkley said.

“But I think the main thing we talked about was you and your brother.”

“What did you guys talk about — what did he say?” she asked.

“I think it was more that he was proud,” Barkley said.

“Because I’ve got a daughter, too. I’m just really, really proud of her, because I think she’s a good person. And your dad was so proud of you and your brother.”

The story has captivated social media since it was published on Friday.

People who know the athlete and commentator were not surprised however.

Barkley’s a stand-up guy!

This is the sort of wholesome content we love during the holiday season.

May Lin Wang rest in peace. He sounds like he was a truly fortunate and wonderful man.