Explaining the 15 oddest nicknames in Houston Rockets history

Houston Rockets James Harden Chris Paul (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets James Harden Chris Paul (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets Chris Paul (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

2. Chris Paul – The Skate Instructor

Already thought of as one of the greatest point guards of all time, Chris Paul has two well-known nicknames: CP3 and The Point God. Both are pretty self-explanatory, so I don’t need to jump into those.

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Where did The Skate Instructor come from, though? As is the case with many others on this list, there isn’t much information online associating the name with Chris Paul. There’s nothing at all, actually, besides the link to the Basketball-Reference page that lists this name under Paul.

Once again, I can only speculate, but I feel like the name has something to do with Paul’s ability to do this:

Paul often has his defenders on skates with his killer crossovers and exceptional ball-handling, which is likely the reason for the name. Its origin, though, will, again, have to remain a mystery.

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Houston Rockets Charles Barkley (Photo by PAUL BUCK/AFP via Getty Images) /

1. Charles Barkley – The Leaning Tower of Pizza

There aren’t many people in the world that have more nicknames than Charles Barkley. While Sir Charles and The Round Mound of Rebound are probably the more common ones, there are plenty more, such as: The Chuckster, The Chuck Wagon, The Prince of Pizza, The Incredible Bulk, Bread Truck, Boy Gorge and, yes, The Leaning Tower of Pizza.

Many of these nicknames originated during his time at Auburn. According to a 1984 Sports Illustrated article, in college, Barkley became “a mythic figure in the SEC—larger than life and just about everything else.”

At 6-6 and 284 pounds in college, Barkley’s larger frame was the focal point of just about every nickname he received during that time.

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There’s a video on YouTube available of a young Charles reading a list of nicknames he had way back in 1984 in which he picked The Round Mound of Rebound as his favorite.

While he’s probably been given 30 more names since then, it’s safe to say The Leaning Tower of Pizza is still my favorite.