Charles Barkley has a long-standing love affair with food. Chef Barkley first appeared as he gained about 20 pounds in 36 hours to avoid being drafted by the Sixers. His agent informed him if the Sixers draft him his starting wage would be $75,000 and Chuck “didn’t leave college for $75,000.” Despite coming in at 302 pounds, the Sixers drafted him.
He then lost some of the weight but still wasn’t playing as much as he expected to. Part of it was that he arrived to aging, but again a team full of Hall of Famers – Moses Malone, Julius Erving, Maurice Cheeks, Bobby Jones, and Andrew Toney. So Chuck asked Moses, who became his mentor why isn’t he playing. Moses, as always, kept is simple (via The Athletic):
“I said, ‘Moses, why am I not getting to play?’ He said, ‘You’re fat and you’re lazy,’” Barkley recalled. “I said, ‘I don’t understand that.’ He said, ‘Which part, the fat or the lazy part?’”
Chuck points out he was lucky to have had a mentor like Moses, who told him like it is, but also he was lucky to have been willing to accept the criticism. Moses agreed to help him lose weight and would work out with him after practice. He eventually dropped about 50 pounds until he found his optimal playing weight. (via The Athletic):
“I appreciate Moses Malone taking time for me, but also, I thank goodness that I was smart enough to take the criticism. A lot of these guys, they can’t take criticism. Moses told me I was fat and lazy, and I was fat and lazy.” Barkley said. “There’s probably been 100 guys in my career as a player, as a TV guy, where I’ve said, ‘When that guy gets it, it’s going to be hell to pay for the rest of the NBA.’ But they never get it. They never get it.”
This experience he had with Moses makes him confident that Horford’s presence and the dramatic loss to the Raptors will motivate Embiid to get in the best shape of his life and lead the Sixers to the Larry O’Brien trophy. If that’s the case, Charles sees Joel as an MVP candidate and the Sixers in place to win it all.