Depending on your age, you remember Charles Barkley as a Hall of Fame undersized big man who got boards like nobody’s business, “not a role model,” a retired star lost in the sauce in Vegas, or the most entertaining commentator on TV.
There are many layers to the onion that is Charles Barkley, but he quietly peeled off about 40 of them after making good on a bizarre promise he made on live TV following Game 5 of the NBA Finals last year. “I’m going to a fat farm…for the next six weeks.”
His co-anchors, especially tormenter-in-chief Shaq, clowned him before realizing that he wasn’t kidding, and then their good-natured ribbing turned to genuine encouragement. Watch for yourself:
The transformation is no joke. From saggy cheeks to radiant eggman. From Mastiff jowls to motivational speaker. His secret? Diet and exercise, boxing; also his trainer Joey.
“I’ve eaten more vegetables this summer than I have in my last 50 years of life. And they suck, just for the record. You have to eat a lot of vegetables. And they don’t taste good.”
There’s no one not named Mike Tyson who’s redeemed themselves more in the court of public opinion than Charles Barkley. Just another rebound for Chuck. He went through a saucy — if not dark — time post-retirement. When you’re a rich basketball icon, Vegas is a fun place.
“I went to Vegas a bunch of times and won a million dollars. In a weekend. I did. Probably 10 times. But I’ve also went to Vegas and lost a million — probably three times that much.”
That’s 40 million dollar weekends in Vegas with a net loss of $20 million. Hard to lead a healthy lifestyle when you’re ensconced in Sin City. Lucky for all of us, that chapter seems to be behind Barkley, and even if he still hates vegetables, he’s agreed to eat them for the greater good.