Charles Barkley isn’t the first professional athlete to gain a few pounds after retiring, but the one-time NBA great is planning to do something about it.
During a chat with his fellow commentators during Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday, the former Philadelphia 76ers star revealed that he’d be “disappearing” for the next few weeks to attend a “fat farm.”
When his incredulous co-hosts assumed he was goofing around, Barkley insisted he was totally serious.
“Listen, I am embarrassed about how fat I have become,” he told fellow ex-NBA star Shaquille O’Neal. “I have become lazy. Number one, I’m not healthy. I’m not healthy. Y’all not going to see me. I’ve got to come back for the [NBA] awards show. But I’m taking the next six weeks to get my fat ass in shape. [I won’t be] around anything. So, I don’t drink, I’ve got to eat healthy and I’ve got to work out. So, I’m disappearing until I see y’all.”
When questioned by his fellow commentators, Barkley insisted he was “being very serious,” and revealed the “fat camp” was located near San Antonio, Texas.
Last year, in an interview with Bill Simmons on his HBO show “Any Given Wednesday”, Barkley discussed gaining some weight while playing for the Houston Rockets in the twilight of his NBA career.
“The only year that I was fat was my last year in Houston because they had promised me $12 million,” Barkley said, via Sporting News. “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.'”
He added: “I was pissed… They said, ‘We’ll give you $12 million next year.’ So when I showed up the next year, they bring me a contract. I said, ‘This looks like an 8.’ They said, ‘Yeah, we’re going to give you $8 million.’ I said, ‘What about the other $4 million?’ They’re like, ‘Well, we just changed our mind.’ So I wasn’t motivated.”