The following season, Julius Erving announced his retirement and Barkley became the Sixers' franchise player. On November 30, 1988, Barkley recorded 41 points, 22 rebounds, 5 assists and 6 steals in a 114–106 win over the Blazers. Playing in 80 games and getting 300 more minutes than his nearest teammate, Barkley had his most productive season, averaging 28. 3 points on . 587 shooting and 11. 9 rebounds per game. He appeared in his second All-Star Game and was named to the All-NBA First Team for the first time in his career. His celebrity status as the Sixers' franchise player led to his first appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated. For the first time since the 1974–75 season, however, the 76ers failed to make the playoffs. In the 1988–89 season, Barkley continued to play well, averaging 25. 8 points on . 579 shooting and 12. 5 rebounds per game. He earned his third straight All-Star Game appearance and was named to the All-NBA First team for the second straight season. Despite Barkley contributing 27. 0 points on . 644 shooting, 11. 7 rebounds and 5. 3 assists per game, the 76ers were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the New York Knicks.