Charles Barkley Used A Wild Strategy To Try To Stop The 76ers From Drafting Him

Charles Barkley on the 76ers

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Victor Wembanyama will secure a massive bag when the Spurs inevitably select him with the first overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft on Thursday night, but he’s far from the only player who will get a fairly life-changing contract by the time the event wraps up.

For example, whoever is scooped up with the fifth overall pick will be able to ink a deal that will pay them more than $6 million over the course of their rookie campaign, which (even when adjusted for inflation) is significantly more than what Charles Barkly got when he suited up for the 76ers after going in the same position in the NBA Draft in 1984.

Sir Charles would ultimately stay in Philadelphia for eight seasons, and he eventually had his number retired by the franchise thanks to what he was able to achieve in the first half of his Hall of Fame career.

However, it’s safe to say it took him a while to warm up to the idea of playing for the 76ers (it’s also worth noting things did fall apart toward the end of his tenure).

Barkley recently sat down with Jason and Travis Kelce for an episode of the New Heights podcast where he talked about the leadup to the hallowed 1984 draft that featured fellow NBA legends including Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, and John Stockton.

While Barkley was very aware the 76ers were interested in securing his talents, the feeling wasn’t mutual based on the strategy he deployed in the hopes of going to another franchise.

Here’s what he had to say:

“I was about 300 pounds in college. The Sixers had brought me in for a visit and the owner says, ‘Hey, everybody’s concerned about your weight.’

I think I had like six weeks before the draft. He says, ‘I want you to stop back here the day before the draft. We want you to weigh 285.’

I get down to about 285 and then my agent says to me, ‘They have a hard cap in the NBA, so if you get drafted by the Sixers, you’re going to have to play your first year for $75,000.’ S***, I didn’t leave college for $75,000; I could’ve gotten that much in college… 

So we went on an eating binge. I stop in Philly—I weighed 298. I leave and I’m thinking like, ‘Whew, we dodged a bullet.’

If you go back and look at the tape, there’s this look on my face when they said, ‘With the fifth overall pick in the draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select Charles Barkley out of Auburn,’ I’ve got this look on my face like ‘What the f***?'”

Here’s the clip in question.

At least it all worked out in the end.

Connor O'Toole avatar
Connor Toole is the Deputy Editor at BroBible. He is a New England native who went to Boston College and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Frequently described as "freakishly tall," he once used his 6'10" frame to sneak in the NBA Draft and convince people he was a member of the Utah Jazz.