June 12, 2017
Sixers great and colorful NBA postgame analyst Charles Barkley got serious for a short time in TNT's pregame show before Game 4 of the NBA finals.
As Barkley and the rest of TNT's broadcast crew discussed offseason plans, Barkley announced he'd be "disappearing" for six weeks to address his weight.
"I'm being serious for a second. I'm going to a 'fat farm,'" he said.
Fellow analyst Shaquille O'Neal broke the seconds-long silence that followed with a tongue-in-cheek jab.
"That ain't going to help you. You ain't dedicated," he said with a smirk.
Barkley, an 11-time All-Star who spent eight NBA seasons with the Sixers in a Hall-of-Fame career, said on the national telecast that he needs a lifestyle change.
When questioned by his fellow broadcasters, he insisted he was being "very serious" and that he'd be attending a "fat farm" in San Antonio.
"I'm embarrassed by how fat I have become," he said. "I have become lazy. I'm not healthy."
Barkley, 54, said he'll be back for TNT's broadcast of the first-ever NBA Awards Show.
"But I'm taking the next six weeks to get my fat ass in shape," he said. "[I won't be] around anything. [I won't be] around anything so I don't drink. I have to eat healthy and I have to work out.
"I'm disappearing until I see y'all," he added, his voice cracking from emotion.
He continued, stressing that he needs to attend the camp.
"I'm not getting any younger," he said. "And you don't see a lot of fat old people. I've got to get healthy, man."
Barkley has worked as a spokesman for Weight Watchers' "Lose Like a Man" program. During an interview on Bill Simmons' HBO show "Any Given Sunday" last year, Barkley said his weight struggles started after he was cut by the Houston Rockets in 2000, his last year in the NBA.
He will reportedly not be in Oakland Monday night for Game 5 of the finals, which starts 9 p.m. on the East Coast.
After his announcement Friday night, Barkley returned to form just before a subsequent commercial break.
"Just for the record, if you want me to get a two-for-one deal, you can come, too," he told O'Neal.
"Next season when I get back, I'm going to be so sexy. I ain't even going to need the makeup because y'all be saying 'Damn, Chuck look good.'"