Why Mike Trout Was First Person Charles Barkley Called After Testing Negative for COVID-19

Jesse Pantuosco
May 15, 2020 - 1:26 pm

After a brief COVID-19 scare at the outbreak’s onset in March, Charles Barkley was cleared of the virus. The first person the Round Mound of Rebound called after getting his test results wasn’t who you’d expect.

“First person I called was Mike Trout,” the former Sixers and Suns forward revealed to ESPN’s Buster Olney. Barkley explained that he had visited the Angels at spring training about 10 days before he fell ill. Though Barkley’s COVID test was more of a precaution than anything—the Hall of Famer said he was just run down from all the traveling he’d been doing—Trout was eager to learn his results.

“TNT called me and said, ‘Mike Trout wants your number,’” Barkley recalled, believing the Angels star was calling to see if he was feeling better. But when they spoke, Trout seemed more worried about catching the virus himself than he did about Barkley’s condition. “Mike was quarantined waiting on my results. I can laugh about it now, but he was calling me every other day to check on my results so he could feel like he didn’t have the coronavirus.”

Chuck claims he had a similar exchange with his former Olympic teammate Patrick Ewing, who feared of getting the illness from Barkley. “I had flown to New York to do [Stephen] Colbert and Patrick had asked me to speak to his team before the Big East tournament,” the TNT analyst explained to Olney on the Baseball Tonight Podcast. “So I got Patrick Ewing and Mike Trout calling me every day. And I laughed after because they didn’t give a [expletive] about me not having the virus. They were worried about whether they or their players had it.”

After an agonizing wait, Barkley was sure to let Trout and Ewing know the instant he received his results, mostly to get them off his back. “I got on TNT, I said ‘Y’all sent me to the worst damn hospital in the world because it took 10 days.’”

Trout and Ewing probably could have shown a little more concern for Barkley’s wellbeing, but Chuck says it’s all water under the bridge. “I can laugh about it now, but it was not funny six days into my quarantine.”

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