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Barkley got fat to get back at the Rockets for giving him less money

Charles Barkley recently made a visit as a guest on the Any Given Wednesday show, hosted by Bill Simmons.

If you’ve ever heard Barkley on Inside the NBA on TNT, he occasionally and randomly blurts out about how the Houston Rockets owe him millions of dollars, but he never explains why.

During one segment of the show with Simmons, Barkley talked about his last year in Houston before he retired, and revealed what he means when he makes those comments.

The only year that I was fat was my last year in Houston, because they had promised me $12 million.

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 said he negotiated a $12 million salary for the following year, initially taking a pay cut so the Rockets could sign Scottie Pippen. Once the Rockets reneged on the price they offered him previously, he said he decided to gain weight to spite them.

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 eight.’ 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’s career ended in Houston that season, only playing 20 games before suffering a ruptured quadricep tendon.

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