Coming into the league, Charles Barkley had the opportunity to play with some absolute legends. Barkley was part of the historic 1984 NBA Draft class, which included Michael Jordan and Hakeem Olajuwon.
Barkley was selected 5th overall by the Philadelphia 76ers, who had won the NBA championship just two seasons prior to Barkley’s arrival. The 76ers had superstars like ‘Dr. J’ Julius Erving and Moses Malone on their squad. And Malone played a big part in Barkley losing weight before playing in the NBA.
Charles Barkley was a guest on the Pivot Podcast recently. He discussed his rookie season in the NBA. Barkley revealed that Malone told him he was fat and lazy, but offered to help him lose weight.
Barkley revealed that Moses Malone would make him lose 10 pounds at a time before he was able to lose 50 pounds and become a starter. Barkley credits Malone for getting him in shape to dominate in the NBA (13:13 onwards).
“You have to be in shape for pro sports. That’s one thing I tell people. Moses (Malone) said ‘hey, you’re fat and lazy. If you want me to help you, I’ll help you’. And he said something that changed my life. He says ‘I don’t even know what your playing weight should be but lets just lose 10 pounds’. This is a guy who was already one of the all time greats. Starts spending time with me before practice, after practice. I lost 10 pounds, I get to 290. He says ‘let’s lose 10 more’. 280, 270, 260, 250. I got to 240, but I had no strength and energy… I got down to 250. He says ‘250 is your weight’. And at this point I’m starting. And I tell people, if he had told me in the beginning ‘let’s lose 50 pounds’, that probably would have been overwhelming. But he said ‘let’s lose 10 pounds’. Then, like I said, once I got to 250, I was just killing people and the rest is history.”
Barkley also touched on some other topics during his interview, including his time with the 1992 Dream Team, where he felt he was the second-best player on the team behind Michael Jordan.
Chuck also spoke about the 1993 NBA Finals, and how Chuck Daly motivated him to defeat Jordan in the Finals because he said that Jordan was better than Barkley.
While Barkley never won the NBA championship, he is remembered as one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA. Barkley was a superstar and was able to dominate opponents due to his frightening combination of size, speed, and strength.