Sportress of Blogitude

Charles Barkley ate McDonald’s on a stationary bike at 76ers practices?


Charles Barkley didn’t become known as “The Round Mound of Rebound” without some real effort on his part. Or apparent lack thereof.

Jayson Williams, who spent the first two seasons of his NBA career as Barkley’s teammate on the Philadelphia 76ers, recently regaled listeners of the VICE Sports “Cookies” podcast with a patently absurd but believably comical story about how Sir Charles once showed up late to practice only to chow down on breakfast while sitting on a stationary bike.

“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,” Williams recalled, as transcribed by The Big Lead. “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, warps 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 ‘You sons of b—-es! Run the floor! You lazy bastards! You f—ers! That’s why we ain’t never going to win the game!’ And pancake is spitting out his mouth.”

To quote Cosmo Kramer, a story like that has got to be true.

Williams also mentioned on the podcast how Barkley instilled in him and younger players terrible habits by staying out all hours of the night before game days.

But perhaps most illustrative of Barkley’s career was this following observation from Williams.

“Charles Barkley was probably the strongest man from the bellybutton down,” he said. “Never would lift the weights, but let me tell you something man. You knew he wasn’t going to win the championship.”

It certainly puts some of Barkley’s recent critical comments about players chasing championships into perspective. Barkley instead apparently preferred to chase the Golden Arches.