There is no question it takes an elite, well trained athlete to make it in the National Basketball Association. If you have ever watched, or have been a part of a high level basketball practice, you quickly realize the bulk of the time is spent running and improving cardio conditioning. There have been some large men throughout the years in the NBA; players like Robert "Tractor" Traylor and Oliver Miller come to mind immediately.
When you make it to the NBA, you not only take your training to the next level, but you also take your bank account as well. Most players in the NBA are earning well over nine figures, some even eclipsing 10 and 11 figures throughout their careers. With income like that, it is easy to understand how a player could put on a few pounds after retiring. As a player, it is easier to keep the weight off. You are constantly working out, playing in games, and during the off-season, many players have extensive workout regiments as well. But, once the time comes to hang em up, and call it a career, that is when players find themselves packing on the extra meat.
This list will illustrate the dangers of being rich and having the ability to eat whatever you want whenever you want, without a proper workout routine.The following are 15 NBA players who got fat after retirement.
15 Yao Ming
The freshly Hall of Fame-minted Yao Ming kicks off the list. The 7'6" Chinese big man retired in 2011 and surely has packed on the pounds since. Yao had an incredible impact on the globalization of the game during and after his career. He still travels the world promoting the game of basketball and his following has stayed steady even after his retirement. His career was cut short due to injuries, largely due to his freakishly tall and large body. Ming has reportedly put on 50 pounds of extra weight since his retirement. In his 14 years in the NBA, Yao made eight All-Star teams, and five All-NBA teams.
14 Don Nelson
After a very successful high school career at Rock Island High School, Nelson played for the University of Iowa as a two-time All-American averaging 21.1 points and 10.5 rebounds a game. He was drafted 19th overall by the Chicago Zephyrs, who later became the Washington Wizards. Nelson bounced around during the early years of his career, spending time in Los Angeles and then Boston after leaving Chicago. After his mini tour around the NBA, he landed with the Celtics. This is where he would find his niche. Nelson would help the Boston Celtics to five NBA championships during his 11 years in Bean Town. Nelson even had his number retired by the Celtics franchise. After a successful playing career, Nelson would go on to have a great coaching career that spanned over four decades. As his career resume got larger and larger, seemingly so did his gut.
13 Lamar Odom
Lamar Odom came into the NBA at a lean 220. He had the body of a power forward, but when required, he could play at point guard. He had a lot of range, stemmed from the fact that he was lean and in shape. However, Odom eventually started facing personal demons and that's probably what contributed to his weight gain. In addition to bad eating habits, Odom has also struggled with alcohol and drug problems. We all remember the story last year of him being found in a brothel. His wife Khloe Kardashian called off the divorce from her husband temporarily as she assisted him in getting better.
12 Mark Jackson
11 Baron Davis
10 Eddy Curry
Eddy Curry is one of the biggest busts in NBA history. Coming out of high school, Curry was looked at as a can't-miss prospect. He was drafted 4th overall by the Chicago Bulls in 2001. His rookie season was not as exciting as he, or the Bulls, would have liked, but in his second season, he led the NBA in field goal percentage, and in his third season he led the team in points-per-game, on their way to a playoff berth. Unfortunately, Curry was forced to miss the last 13 games of that season and the playoffs with an irregular heartbeat. After a messy and scary fight to comeback and play, Curry was sent to the New York Knicks. His career fizzed out after that and he was never able to regain his form that looked so promising early on.
9 Derrick Coleman
8 Joe Dumars
7 Antoine Walker
After winning an NCAA Championship as a sophomore at Kentucky in 1996, Antoine Walker appeared to be a shoe-in for at least. The Boston Celtics believed so when they used the 6th overall pick in the draft to select Walker. In his rookie season, Walker led the Celtics in points (17.5) and rebounds (9.0). The Celtics drafted Paul Pierce in 1998. The team did well with Pierce and Walker as a 1-2 punch but they were never able to get over the hump in the Eastern Conference. Ultimately, the Celtics decided to trade Walker to the Mavericks, which seemed like the beginning of the end for Walker.
6 Metta World Peace
5 Dominique Wilkins
4 Shawn Kemp
Paired with Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp is part of one of the greatest 1-2 combos to never win an NBA Championship. "The Reign Man" as he was dubbed, was basically Blake Griffin before Blake Griffin, he dunked on the competition with reckless abandon and routinely made an opponent question all their life choices to that point. Kemp spent eight years in Seattle battling for a title, coming up just short to Michael Jordan and his historic Bulls team in 1996. After the Sonics, Kemp went to Cleveland, where he began to put on weight in bunches. He ended his career in 2003 well over his weight with the Sonics.
3 Magic Johnson
2 Shaquille O'Neal
1 Charles Barkley
As a player, Barkley was nicknamed "The Round Mound of Rebound," implying he was not all that skinny as a player. Charles has, however, found a way to add at least 50 pounds to an already husky frame and it's noticeable. Since retiring, Barkley has been an outspoken commentator for various networks over the years. It seems the older he gets, the more he becomes the old man from the movies, yelling at the neighborhood kids. As he gets fatter, the stereotype fits more and more. To be fair, Barkley was one of the greats of his generation, and many believe he is one of the all-time great players to have never won an NBA title.
Although he never won an NBA championship, Barkley does have two Emmy Awards for Best Studio Analyst. Much like his contemporary on and off the court, Shaquille O'Neil, Sir Charles must be smarter than he looks.
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