Hall of Famer Charles Barkley is known for speaking his mind and the tradition continues as he gave his thoughts on some of the NBA stars today. When asked about the current star of his former team, the Philadelphia 76ers, ESPN’s Get Up Tuesday morning, Barkley said Embiid needs to get his “fat butt” in shape.
“I wonder in Philadelphia who has the courage and the chutzpah to tell Joel Embiid, ‘Yo, man, you got to get in shape,’” Barkley said.
Embiid has faced criticism for his weight before — Andre Drummond called him “fat” and “out of shape” last November.
When asked about rookie sensation Zion Williamson, Barkley was less harsh but still had the same message. “I think he’s got a great system down in New Orleans,” Barkley said. “I love David Griffin and Alvin Gentry, but they’re gonna have to come up with a comprehensive plan to see what the perfect playing weight (is). I hear he weighs 280. You can’t play at 280 in the NBA. You can’t play at that weight. It’s too much stress on his knees.”
“I don’t know what Zion’s perfect body weight is going to be,” Barkley said before getting a laugh by adding, “I thought 300 was my perfect playing weight in college.”
Barkley has experience in the area. He said being called fat early in his career helped him to make the changes he needed to make it in the NBA. Barkley said when the late Hall of Famer Moses Malone called him fat and lazy led to weight loss, but the times have changed since he was a young player.
“I had to lose 50 pounds to become a Hall of Famer,” Barkley continued. “I think [Williamson has] got a great system down in New Orleans. I love [head of basketball operations] David Griffin and [head coach] Alvin Gentry, but they’re going to have to come up with a comprehensive plan to see what the perfect playing weight is.”