NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley Reveals the Inception Behind his Nickname ‘Chuck’

January 14, 2021 1:48 am

Charles Barkley is one of the most famous personalities in the NBA. Barkley earned the nickname of ‘Chuck’ during his playing career, and the reason behind its inception is quite interesting! 

Charles Barkley got his nickname on his first day with the Phoenix Suns!

Barkley’s close peeps hardly refer to him as Charles, and he often goes by his nickname. ‘Chuck’ is also one of the most loved household NBA names too! 

Charles Barkley was an outstanding player in his prime and was named the league’s MVP in 1993 when he was with the Phoenix Suns. Now, the surprising part is that his Suns Head Coach Paul Westphal gave him the name ‘Chuck!’ 

Barkley didn’t have the nickname until he joined the Suns in 1992, and the 11-time All-Star recently revealed how the late Paul Westphal first called him by a nickname! 

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An awkward moment introduced Barkley to his new nickname!

The late Paul Westphal took over as the Suns’ Head Coach in 1992 before the team signed Barkley. Westphal gave Barkley the nickname on the latter’s very first day, but he was only introduced to it by one of the media crew members. 

“When I first got traded to Phoenix, he [Paul Westphal] was doing an interview and I was sitting around late,”  Charles Barkley said. 

That’s when one of the other guys came up to the Suns’ new signing and called him by his brand new nickname. The guy had to call Chuck multiple times with the name after which the Alabama native responded. 

“I say, ‘My name is Charles, not Chuck’. He says, ‘Oh Paul called you Chuck,’ and I said, ‘All right, from this day forward my name ain’t gonna be [Charles]’. I had never been called Chuck until I got traded to Phoenix,” reminisced Barkley. 

“I’ve never been called Chuck, and I say, ‘Here from this forward anybody want to call me Chuck, it’s all good’. And every time I saw him [Westphal], I told him that story,” Barkley added. 

Just like that, the name stuck on to him indisputably! Barkley has been carrying the nickname for 29 years now, and it will never get old or unfamiliar ever! 

ALSO READ- Charles Barkley Channels Inner Trash-Talker; Calls Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen ‘Cheap’

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Arjun Athreya

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at EssentiallySports and has been contributing to the website since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from the Madras Christian College. Outside of writing, Arjun has also conducted interviews with significant personalities in the sporting world such as notable NBA Insider Brandon ‘Scoop B’ Robinson, and Jerry Castello, the CEO of USA Natural Patches, and the founder the basketball tournament ‘The 5.’ Arjun manages the Golf division of the site. In addition, he covers news pertaining to the NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Tennis divisions too.

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