mobile app bar

36 Years After Fumbling 1st Meeting With Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Charles Barkley Gets a Gift From the Cap at All-Star Weekend

Raahib Singh

36 years after fumbling 1st meeting with Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Charles Barkley gets a gift from The Cap at All-Star Weekend

Charles Barkley is one of the most famous personalities in basketball. The Round Mound of Rebound was known for his offensive prowess and his uncanny ability to dominate on the boards, despite being 6ft 6″. After retirement, he joined TNT as an on-air analyst and has been a part of Inside the NBA.

Since his retirement, Chuck has made a lot of friends and turned a lot of friendships sour as well. The reason behind the same is his inability to censor his speech. If a thought runs through Barkley’s mind, he ends up saying it, no matter its consequences.

Not too long ago, Chuck got on the sets of Jimmy Kimmel, where he talked about turning 60, gifts from his TNT crew, and meeting Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the first time.

Also Read: “I’m the modern day Reggie Miller”: Klay Thompson Reveals the Two Shooting Guards Who Inspired Him

Charles Barkley recalls meeting Kareem for the first time

Back in the 1980s, there were quite a few rising stars like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, but no player was bigger than Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The Cap was a legend, and by 1986, he had 4x NBA Championships to his name. Making his All-Star debut in 1987, Charles Barkley was excited about quite a few things, but nothing more than meeting The Cap himself.

Recalling his first encounter with Kareem, Chuck talked about how all the players sit together in a room before the All-Stars are announced to the public. Everyone was together, but Kareem was sitting in a corner. He was standing with [Larry] Bird, [Kevin] McHale, and Karl Malone, when he said, “You know I never met Kareem before.” 

The guys told him to go up and say hello. Kareem was sitting in a corner with a book. Chuck went up to the legend and said, “Hey Karee-, Mr. Jabbar. Can I talk to you?” 

In response, Kareem looked at him, said, “I’m reading,” and returned to his book. Barkley turned around and the guys were on the floor laughing. They knew what was going to happen, and yet they pushed Chuck to go for it.

Ouch. That wasn’t the best first meeting one can imagine. However, Barkley claims that things have been cool since.

Also Read: WATCH: Charles Barkley punches Shaquille O’Neal as the Inside the NBA team demonstrated physicality in the 1990s

Chuck received a gift from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at the 2023 All-Star Weekend

Quite a few things happened at the 2023 All-Star Weekend. We saw a revival of the Dunk Contest. We saw a dud All-Star game. All throughout the weekend though, Inside the NBA crew was busy keeping us entertained.

After returning home, Charles Barkley and Ernie Johnson recorded their new episode of The Steam Room. To start the episode, they thanked the fan who baked them custom cookies referencing various moments of the podcast. Then, they went on to thank Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for gifting the crew ‘Evolution of Excellence’ jackets. This is the same jacket that Kareem wore court-side as Bron made NBA history.

From being ignored by the legend to now getting gifts from him, Chuck sure has come a long way.

Also Read: “I’m Scared of Needles”: After Praise From Shaq, Damian Lillard Got The ‘Blood Drug Test’ Done After 71-point Game

About the author

Raahib Singh

Raahib Singh


Raahib Singh is an NBA Journalist and Content Strategist at The SportsRush. A Computer Science Engineer by qualification, Raahib's passion for sports drew him towards TSR. He started playing basketball at 14 and has been following the NBA since 2013. His entry into the basketball world perfectly coincided with Stephen Curry putting the league on notice. Having followed the league for a long time, he decided to use his knowledge to become a sportswriter with The SportsRush in 2020. Raahib loves to put up some shots in his spare time, watch Cricket, Formula 1, and/or read a nice thriller.

Read more from Raahib Singh

Share this article