NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley claims that he gained weight during his final season after the Houston Rockets gave him a paycut.
“The only year that I was fat was my last year in Houston, because they had promised me $12 million,” Barkley said during Ben Simmons’s Any Given Wednesday show. “When I showed up, the contract was only for $8 million. And I said, ‘What happened to my other $4 million?’ They said, ‘Well, we just decided to keep it.’ ”
Barkley continued by saying that he had agreed to take a paycut so the Rockets could sign Scottie Pippen, but that the team slashed his salary by more than what was agreed.
“I was so pissed. What had happened was I took a paycut so we could sign Scottie Pippen,” Barkley said. “So they said, ‘We need you to take a paycut so we can sign Scottie.’ I said, ‘OK, I would love to play with Scottie.’ They said, ‘We’ll give you $12 million next year.’ So when I showed up the next year, they bring me a contract. I said, ‘This looks like an 8.’ They said, ‘Yeah, we're going to give you $8 million.’ I said, ‘What about the other $4 million?’ They’re like, ‘Well, we just changed our mind.’ So I wasn’t motivated.”
Barkley averaged 14.5 points and 10.5 rebounds that season as Houston failed to make the playoffs.