Charles Barkley recently sat down for an interview with Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated and the basketball analyst recalled one of the more entertaining stories of his illustrious basketball career – the way in which he tried to stop the Philadelphia 76ers from drafting him in 1984.

Barkley was wary of the paltry salary that the Sixers could have offered him coming out of college. So, upon learning that he’d get about $75,000 from them if he was drafted by Philadelphia, Barkley decided to gorge himself silly on very short notice to dissuade Philly from picking him.

I left college after three years and in fairness, I was fat in college. I played at 300 pounds. The Sixers called me a month before the draft and said, “We want you to get down to 285 pounds and come in before the draft.” So I get down to 283 and the night before we fly into Philly my agent said, “You do know if the Sixers draft you they are going to give you $75,000, right?” I said, “Dude, I didn’t leave college for $75,000. We have a problem.” He said, “You weigh about 283 now. What do you want to do? You beat their weight limit.” I said, “Let’s go out.”

So we went to Dennys and I had like two Grand Slam breakfasts. We went to lunch and I had like two big barbeque sandwiches. That night we went to a big steakhouse. The next morning I had two more Grand Slam breakfasts and when we flew to Philly, I weighed 302. I was like, Thank goodness, the Sixers are not going to draft me. So when you look at my face when commissioner [David] Stern says ‘With the fifth pick in the draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select Charles Barkley,’ I was like, ‘Oh, sh–.’ When people go back and look at me walking, and they see that awful burgundy suit, everybody else is happy and Charles isn’t happy. But it worked out great. The most important person in my basketball career was Moses Malone and he got me down to under 250 pounds and the rest is history.

Barkley told a similar story to Jimmy Fallon last October (although he states that he chowed down on Red Lobster and some t-bone steaks to ensure his weight gain, not barbeque sandwiches).

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As far as weight-gaining methods, short of filling his shoes with cement, Barkley’s methods were pretty foolproof. Two Grand Slam breakfasts per day? My heart’s arteries are clogging just thinking about it.

[Sports Illustrated] via [Philly Voice]