Charles Barkley was one of the most famous players in the NBA during the 80s and the 90s. Barkley emerged from the legendary 1984 NBA Draft class, and immediately made an impact for the Philadelphia 76ers. Chuck was going to be a star and it was obvious. But some players who played under him realized that he wasn’t the best influence when it came to practicing.
Former Philadelphia 76ers player Jayson Williams once revealed that Charles Barkley would come into practice with a giant bag of McDonald's breakfast, and eat the whole thing while yelling at players to work harder. Once, when Williams asked Barkley if he was going to eat that and join their run, Barkley said no and told him he was going on an elliptical at 1 mile per hour.
“He was the worst person to play with as a rookie because when you went in you got all the bad habits from him. You stayed out all night and then you couldn’t figure out why you didn’t have it in the game. It’s because when Charles came to practice he didn’t practice. I’ll never forget this story. My second day of practice we’re out there running up and down. Charles Barkley comes in about 5-minutes late. He comes in and he has a big McDonald’s bag. And he goes and he sits down on the bike. And like a chemist. You know, a guy over there cutting up lines or something. You know? He’s just making – he’s got his back towards us and he’s doing stuff — I’m like, ‘What the hell is he doing?’ So, he takes the eggs, and he takes the pancakes, the sausage, maple syrup and butter, puts it all in one, wraps it up with the pancake and gets some extra syrup. And the butter’s oozing out. And I’m going, ‘Wow, you going to eat that then and come run with us?’ Hell no. He’s going to eat that while he’s on the stationary bike. Peddling one mile an hour going … ‘Run the floor!’ … ‘That’s why we ain’t never going to win the game!’ And pancake is spitting out his mouth.”
Clearly, Barkley was a big fan of McDonald's breakfast, so much so that he’d even start his day with it. As superstars, some players are afforded certain luxuries, and McDonald's was certainly Charles’ luxury. But his love of McDonald's does explain why he had certain health issues during his career.
But despite those issues, Barkley went on to be a superstar and an MVP. And even at 44 years of age, Barkley was still athletic enough to win a race, although it was against 67-year-old referee Dick Bavetta. Regardless, Barkley will go down as one of the best ever to play the game in the NBA.