Charles Barkley is the Round Mound of Rebound. Barkley has many nicknames and got most of them, including this one, in college. He got the name for his weight, which ballooned over 300 pounds at times, and his elite rebounding skill.
Why is Charles Barkley Called the Round Mound of Rebound?
Charles Barkley got the nickname the Round Mound of Rebound because of his unique combination of being overweight and being a great rebounder.
Charles Barkley’s official listed NBA size is 6’6” and 252 pounds. But no one believes those were true.
It is widely reported that Barkley is more like 6’4” without shoes.
Barkley has also admitted that he played in college at around 300 pounds.
Coming out of college in the great 1984 draft that featured both Hakeem Olajuwon and Michael Jordan, Barkley got serious consideration from the 76ers who had the 5th pick.
The team wanted Barkley to slim down, asking him to come in for a workout at 285 pounds. Barkley agreed and dropped down to 283.
But two days before his flight to Philly, Barkley’s agent informed him that the Sixers could only offer him $75,000 due to the NBA’s strict salary cap rules at the time.
Barkley figured he’d be better off with another team and spent the next two days eating in an attempt to repel the Sixers. He ballooned to 302 pounds, figuring it would sabotage his chances with the club.
For some reason, possibly good scouting, the Sixers were not scared away.
They drafted Barkley anyway and paired him with Big Mo, Moses Malone and other greats including Dr. J. Malone convinced Barkley to lose weight and he did.Embed from Getty Images
Barkley got down to around 260 pounds and it showed in his game. Charles Barkley in the 250-260 pound range, as he was for his earliest NBA days, was an athletic force.
Even still, the Sixers promotion department made jokes about his weight. Below is a link to a video that never would have been made today.
The Sixers had a promotion where they let anyone over 260 in for free! Yikes.
Throughout his career, Barkley’s weight mostly went in one direction after those first few years. If Barkley was playing around 250-260 in his rookie year, what was he playing at in the clip below?
I am really not sure, but suffice to say, he wasn’t 250 anymore. Charles Barley was a player of size, as they say.
While his weight was the source of jokes, Barkley’s size did not hinder him from having great success in the NBA.
He had a slam-dunk Hall of Fame career, winning the MVP in 1993, being named an All Star 11 times and making 11 All-NBA teams.
I argued in this post that Barkley played best among the collection of Hall of Famers on the original Dream Team in 1992.
He was not the best player – that was Michael Jordan. But Barkley had the best Olympics among an incredible group.
While Barkley had an amazing career, his weight, along with his general disinterest, may explain why Barkley was never a particularly strong defender.
His best skill on defense was clearly rebounding.
No matter whether he was playing at 250 or closer to 300, Barkley could get boards.
Charles Barkley wasn’t just a round mound. He was the round mound of rebound.
Barkley was a great rebounder in college – he averaged 9.6 rebounds over three years for the Auburn Tigers.
He continued grabbing boards in the NBA. Barkley led the league in rebounds per game his 3rd year at nearly 15 per game.
He finished his career at 11.7 rebounds per game and is 19th in NBA history for total rebounds in a career.
Barkley used his girth to his advantage. When he boxed players out, they were not getting around him.
When you put together his unique combination of elite rebounding with his considerable girth, you get the round mound of rebound.
When Did Charles Barkley Get the Nickname the Round Mound of Rebound?
While there is no single date we can point to as the time when Barkley got the name the Round Mound of Rebound, we know he had it in college.
See the video below of Sir Charles reciting various nicknames people called him in college.
Nearly all the names center around Barkely’s weight. He calls the Crisco Kid his second favorite.
His favorite, of course, is the one that stuck: The Round Mound of Rebound.
What Were Charles Barkley’s Other Nicknames?
Someone with many connections and a generally positive disposition is likely to earn many nicknames.
Charles Barkley is as jovial and friendly as they come. It is no surprise that he has a lot of nicknames.
In addition to the Round Mound of Rebound and the name-based Chuck, Charles Barkley has been called the following at some point:
- Sir Charles
- The Chuckster
- The Chuck Wagon
- The Prince of Pizza
- The Incredible Bulk
- The Leaning Tower of Pizza,
- Bread Truck
- Boy Gorge
- Love Boat
- Food World
- The Crisco Kid
- Wide Load from Leeds
- Ton of Fun
- Goodtime Blimp
Many of the people reading this post may be most familiar with Charles Barkley as one of the TNT NBA hosts. The crew from TNT roasted him about those nicknames here:
Summary: Round Mound of Rebound
Charles Barkley is the Round Mound of Rebound. Barkley earned his most famous nickname while in college at Auburn. He got the nickname for his weight, which ballooned past 300 pounds at times, and for his fierce rebounding skills.
Featured Image Photo Credit: Adapted from Charles Barkley at East Carolina University.jpg Flickr: Charles Barkley ’08 Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic
I have been a Boston sports fan for more than forty years. I write about games, players and seasons from the past.