PHOENIX SUNS

Charles Barkley recalls how he became ‘Chuck’ when he joined the Suns

Jan 8, 2021, 12:08 PM

Phoenix's Charles Barkley celebrates as his coach Paul Westphal cheers him on as they rolled to a 1...

Phoenix's Charles Barkley celebrates as his coach Paul Westphal cheers him on as they rolled to a 104-97 victory over the SuperSonics on Friday night, May 28, 1993 in Seattle. Phoenix leads the best of seven series 2-1 with the fourth game on Sunday in Seattle. (AP Photo/Bill Chan)

(AP Photo/Bill Chan)

You often hear Phoenix Suns legend Charles Barkley called Chuck, but the nickname isn’t something that stuck from childhood.

While reflecting on the memory of the late Paul Westphal, who passed away on Jan. 2, Barkley revealed it was the former head coach who gave him the moniker.

“I had never been called Chuck until I got traded to Phoenix,” Barkley said on NBA on TNT.

Barkley recalled that on his first day as a Sun, he was sitting around when reporters came up and addressed him as Chuck.

Confused as to who they were talking to, he told them, “My name is Charles, not Chuck.”

Westphal had apparently called him “Chuck” during a press conference earlier in the day, and from then on, the name stuck and Barkley responded to anyone who called him that.

“Every time I saw him, I told him that story,” Barkley said of Westphal. “I said, ‘Hey you changed my name.'”

The former Suns coach died at the age of 70 after battling a brain tumor he was diagnosed with in August 2020.

Westphal anchored Phoenix’s rotation between 1975-80, returned to finish his playing career in the 1983-84 season and then coached the team from 1992-95.

Phoenix Suns

Devin Booker and Kevin Durant...

Dan Bickley

Legacies are on the line for Suns stars entering the playoffs

Legacy is a central theme on the eve of the Suns’ 2023-24 postseason journey, starting with the reputation of Devin Booker.

5 hours ago

Karl-Anthony Towns posts up Kevin Durant...

Arizona Sports

Who’s the favorite? Our roundtable makes Suns-Wolves playoff series predictions

Let's make our predictions for the Phoenix Suns and the Minnesota Timberwolves' first-round playoff series.

9 hours ago

Rudy Gobert #27 of the Minnesota Timberwolves dunks the ball against Kevin Durant #35 of the Phoeni...

Kellan Olson

Who will win trade-off of Timberwolves’ size vs. Suns’ space?

The Minnesota Timberwolves' size and the Phoenix Suns' spacing will make for a fun stylistic clash in the NBA Playoffs.

13 hours ago

Devin Booker and Kevin Durant...

Nick Borgia

Team USA’s Grant Hill delivers Olympics jerseys to Devin Booker and Kevin Durant

Suns stars Devin Booker and Kevin Durant officially accepted the invitation to compete on USA's 12-man squad for the Paris Olympics.

1 day ago

...

Arizona Sports Video

Video: Is overconfidence the biggest concern with the Suns in their playoff series with the Timberwolves?

Having not lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves all season, Wolf & Luke wonder if the Phoenix Suns might be a little overconfident heading into their first round playoff series with them.

1 day ago

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 10: Jusuf Nurkic #20 of the Phoenix Suns talks with Bradley Beal #3...

Kellan Olson

Bradley Beal, Jusuf Nurkic must maintain footing for Suns playoffs series vs. T-Wolves

Bradley Beal and Jusuf Nurkic must step up to help the Phoenix Suns' first-round playoff series against the Timberwolves.

2 days ago

Charles Barkley recalls how he became ‘Chuck’ when he joined the Suns