“Don’t Call Me Chuck, Call Me Champ!”: 60lbs Lighter Charles Barkley Smells Redemption After Whisking Away Narrow Win vs Kenny Smith on Live TV

Published 01/11/2024, 11:32 PM EST

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It’s halftime which means it’s the biggest event of the week. Unlike the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns locked in 52-66 after two quarters, this one has a clear winner. Surprisingly, it’s the Round Mound of Rebound. Charles Barkley beat Kenny Smith with the ironic “The Jet” moniker in the race to the board.

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Laugh all you want at Barkley’s questionable form, it brings results. It was a close finish but a few multi-angle replays in slow-mo confirmed Chuck’s hand touched the board a millisecond before Kenny. Sir Charles, who has not tasted an NBA championship in his career, proclaimed, “Don’t call me Chuck, call me Champ!” The small victories in life, as they say.

Barkley’s 60lbs weight loss before the regular season began seems to have made him more athletic in the only sporting event he participates in at 60 years old.

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Shaquille O’Neal even offered Kenny a redemption opportunity with another race. At the last race to the board, Shaq made it alone because Kenny didn’t bother to challenge him at all. As is tradition, the race began unprompted and it looked like Kenny even had a minor headstart. But he admitted right away he didn’t touch the wall. Being gracious doesn’t spare his dignity.

Ernie Johnson reminded him, “So the man who said he would not lose on November 24.” And Shaq chimed in, “No excuses, Mister, we do not want to hear.” Kenny did try though. This time Smith blamed his defeat on his new glasses. Seemingly, he didn’t see where Chuck was to reach the board accurately. You’re not fooling fans, Mr. Jet.

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The Race to the Board is a Kenny event, but this time the star was the Chuckster. It gave fans a hilarious breather in the halftime report meme-fying Smith and Barkley’s awkward running forms.

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Race to Board creates Halftime hilarity

Charles Barkley, who has been at the top of his career even with his weight struggles, was likened to the T-Rex in Jurassic Park chasing the Jeep. Even Kenny did the best impression of their stylish power walk to the board, prompting Barkley to make a threatening walk towards him.

Kenny did his Barkley walk impression through the halftime report. From the off-screen sounds, it appears that Barkley was choking on laughter. Kenny’s got fans petitioning for all halftime reports done in this funny walk.

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After professionally breaking down the Suns’ Big 3 shots before halftime, Smith did the same waddle back to the desk again, killing his co-analysts with laughter. Ernie rightfully said the highlight of this halftime report was the race to the board.

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Written by:

Caroline John

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I was 7 when I saw 'Space Jam' but didn't know till the third rewatch the lead actor is actually a living basketball legend. It was while studying journalism that my friend would go on about the Warriors from Golden State. Keen on athletes' personas outside their arenas, it was Stephen Curry's confidence and philanthropy that drew me to follow the news on NBA pros and explore sports media.
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Edited by:

Pragya Vashisth

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