Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley is better know for his tough play on the court and outspoken opinions, rather than being the most in shape pro athlete in his day. However, during his final season with the Houston Rockets in 1999-2000, he had a very good reason why he decided to say SCREW IT and just start packing on the pounds.
Barkley, who appeared on Bill Simmons’ “Any Given Wednesday,” said that he got fat because the Rockets nixed on their contract promises, which didn’t sit well with the 11-time All-Star.
Per FOX Sports:
“The only year that I was fat was my last year in Houston, because they had promised me $12 million,” Barkley told Simmons. “When I showed up, the contract was only for $8 million. And I said, ‘What happened to my other $4 million?’ They said, ‘Well, we just decided to keep it.’
Barkley then explained why he took such extreme measures.
“They said, ‘We need you to take a pay cut so we can sign Scottie (Pippen).’ I would love to play with Scottie. They said, ‘We’ll give you $12 million next year.’ So when I showed up the next year, they bring me a contract, and I said, ‘This looks like an 8.’ They’re like, ‘We’re gonna give you $8 million.’ And I said, ‘What about the other $4 million?’ They’re like, ‘Well, we just changed our mind.’”
As if taking $4 million off of Barkley’s deal one season wasn’t bad enough, for the Rockets to do it in back-to-back year’s is the ultimate slap to the face, so good on Sir Charles to start eating like a fat kid rather than worry about his playing weight. Clearly, the team wasn’t taking care of him.