Charles Barkley Was By All Accounts A Great Teammate Even If He Sometimes Ate McDonalds Instead Of Practicing

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Fox Sports

On VICE Sports’ “Cookies” podcast, former NBA player Jayson Williams was the featured guest and discussed a lot of things from his former basketball life in detail — one of which of note: being a teammate of “Sir” Charles Barkley…

“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, 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*tches! 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…

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

Everything we know about Sir Charles indicates that he must’ve been a great teammate back in the day. The type of guy to lead by example, not shoot his mouth off and talk for the sake of hearing his own dumb opinions. Chuck was the guy in the locker room you were most scared to talk to as a rookie. Not because he was intimidating though. But because he was the veteran leader who played the game the right way. You just didn’t want to disappoint him, much like you didn’t want to disappoint your dad when he came home in a wife-beater yielding a belt.

You”ll hear some journalists say this is a bad look for Charles. That it shows he wasn’t always the clean cut, no nonsense guy we thought he was. But I beg to differ. What better way to motivate your less-skilled teammates than demonstrating that you’re not always gonna be there to bail them out? How else will bad players learn to make shots if you’re on the court cleaning up every miss? When Barkley got a bad pass but still put the ball in anyway, wouldn’t that bullshit assist just give that guard irrational confidence to start making even more bad passes?

There needs to be consequences to actions and this is why Charles sat on a stationary bike and ate pancakes as his teammates struggled to complete simple dribbling drills. As a team leader, you want to keep your teammates down so they never get too cocky. It’s a textbook alpha male move and clearly some teammates didn’t understand Chuck’s methods. I’m sure if Jayson Williams ever took a second to consider why Chuck stayed out all night (to show the younger guys that even if you accidentally spend the whole night partying you can still grab double-digit rebounds), he wouldn’t have got in so much legal trouble.


This guy’s coming for your job, Chuck. All he needs is a McGriddle and I wouldn’t be able to tell if this was a random picture or a photo of Barkley from the 90’s.

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