Charles Barkley, former NBA star – believes that unless the embattled football player Johnny Manziel gets professional help, he’s likely going down the same path as his brother, Daryl Barkley who, at age 42, suffered heart complications and died due to drugs and alcohol abuse.
The retired NBA hall of famer has witnessed first-hand what drug addiction can do to a person. For years, he grew up his brother who battled substance-abuse issues and he says he is seeing all the red flags in the Cleveland Browns Quarterback.
Barkley shared his thoughts about Manziel’s future during an interview on 97.5 the Fanatic just this week. He stressed out that the football player is in dire need of help.
“As a guy who has a brother who’s dead due to drugs and things like that, it’s very personal,” Barkley said as he recalled painful memories of his brother’s tragic life. “I feel bad for Johnny Manziel, for the simple fact, I know how the story’s going to end. You saw it with Michael Jackson, you saw it with Prince, you saw it with Philip Seymour Hoffman. If you’re trying to beat drugs and alcohol, it’s just a matter of when you’re going to lose, not if.”
Barkley’s sentiments are basically the same with Johnny’s father, Paul Manziel, who said last Febuary that he is afraid he won’t be able to see his son reach his 24th birthday if he doesn’t get professional help as soon as possible. Barkley is almost sure that things will end the same way.
Barkley also tells that Johnny has damaged his career extensively and he might have caused irreparable damage. He said, “I just feel sadness for a guy that had the whole world in front of him. He’s probably ruined his NFL career,” further adding, “Now, it’s like, this kid might die. He’s got no chance of playing football this year, so he’s probably not going to football again. Now you’re talking to the point, ‘Man, this kid, they’re going to find him dead at some point. ’”
Recently, Barkley had a chance meeting with the young athlete where he got the chance to talk to him and share his advice and telling Manziel to seek professional help.
In what may seem as an ironical encounter, Barkley advised Manziel to tone down his lifestyle in the very place that encourages quite the opposite – Las Vegas, the party capital of the country.
“So I’m sitting at the table next to Johnny Manziel,” Barkley said during the radio interview. “He sends one of his guys over and he says, ‘Johnny would like to talk to you for a minute.’ And I say, ‘I’d love to talk to Johnny. ’”
Barkley saw that the moment was perfect to try and get through Johnny. He shared the story of his brother hoping that Johnny would listen.Click to tweet
Barkley saw that the moment was perfect to try and get through Johnny. He shared the story of his brother hoping that Johnny would listen.
“I said, ‘Johnny, man you’re screwing up your life, man, ‘” Barkley said. “’I’m not your dad, I’m not going to try to lecture you. I’m just telling you man, I had a brother who passed away at a young age. Drugs and alcohol got him. It’s gonna end like a bad movie. ‘”
Sadly though, Manziel didn’t seem very receptive to the advice Barkley had given him.
“He said, ‘Man I just like to have fun,’ and I said, ‘Johnny we all like to have fun, but at some point it’s out of control,'” Barkley said. “I said, ‘Man, don’t screw up your career, and I said, ‘I’m worried about your life. I saw what happened to my mom, when my brother passed away, I thought she quit living after that happened. I felt bad for her, and I don’t wanna feel bad for your mom and dad if something bad happens to you man, stop being selfish.’ He said, ‘Man, you know what, I’m gonna try and do better.'”
“So it’s about two o’clock in the morning. I got the plane waiting at the airport because I got to get to Oklahoma City,” Barkley said. “So me and my boys, we stay there for a couple more hours before we start packing. I’m driving to the airport, ‘Breaking News: Johnny Manziel arrested at a nightclub in Vegas.’ My friend’s like, ‘What a pep talk you gave the guy.'”
For some time after the short encounter of the two athletes, TNT analyst didn’t notice any change in Manziel’s lifestyle. Although Manziel has been forcibly removed from a night club for allegedly punching someone, he never seemed to change.
With a four-game suspension handed down to the quarterback, even though he vowed to get sober so that he can return to the game, it will never be easy if he is reluctant in giving up his party lifestyle. If he does return to the NFL, he’s would still deal with the suspension.
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