How Charles Barkley made a Tour pro cry at a blackjack table

What Charles Barkley lacks as a golfer, he makes up for in a few different categories.

The most obvious example is in basketball, where Barkley was an 11-time all-star, an MVP and a two-time gold medal winner (including as a member of the famed 1992 ‘Dream Team’). To this day, Chuck’s basketball exploits are among the greatest in the history of the game — a reality reflected by his enshrinement in the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Another area in which Barkley makes up for his on-course struggles is in television. Barkley is an accomplished curmudgeon on Inside the NBA, TNT’s uber-popular NBA studio show, in addition to starring in a series of memorable commercials and ad campaigns.

But perhaps Barkley’s most impressive non-golf skill is as a gambler, at least according to PGA Tour pro Andres Gonzales. On this week’s episode of GOLF’s Subpar, Gonzales revealed that Chuck is such a proficient gambler he once brought Gonzales to tears.

“I had a real emotional breakdown with Chuck,” Gonzales told hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz. “He’s sitting there gambling like nobody I’ve ever seen. He’s putting 10 grand down on a blackjack table. It was like he was in a swivel chair — turning around putting 10 grand down on craps, turning around to see how he was doing here, turning around to put 10 grand more down on craps. He was stressing me out, man.”

In Gonzales’ telling, Barkley’s insane gambling habits elicited the wrong kind of response in his head.

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“You ever have a panic attack, man? It was a panic attack. I had some stuff in my system and I was just emotional,” Gonzales said. “I was like ‘Chuck I gotta go to bed now, I gotta get out of here’. And he goes, ‘It’s 8 p.m., man.'”

Then, as only the “round mound of rebound” could, Barkley began a third gambling venture: side-wagering Gonzales into an 18-hole match.

“He takes his bald head and puts it up against mine, and he goes, ‘You give me one shot a side.'” he said. “And I was like ‘I gotta get out of here.'”

The result, Gonzales says was an unfortunate one. Overwhelmed by Barkley’s exploits, the 37-year-old pro couldn’t contain himself. He began to cry.

“I’ve cried in front of a lot of people,” Gonzales said.

To hear the rest of Gonzales’ Subpar interview, including how he got into the highly popular habit of tweeting at Tiger Woods, you can check out the video below or download the episode wherever podcasts are available.

James Colgan Editor

James Colgan is an assistant editor at GOLF, contributing stories for the website and magazine on a broad range of topics. He writes the Hot Mic, GOLF’s weekly media column, and utilizes his broadcast experience across the brand’s social media and video platforms. A 2019 graduate of Syracuse University, James — and evidently, his golf game — is still defrosting from four years in the snow, during which time he cut his teeth at NFL Films, CBS News and Fox Sports. Prior to joining GOLF, James was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from.