Playing in the NBA requires a level of physical fitness most of us will never understand. That is a boat we share with Eddy Curry and it’s because very few of us normal folks will ever have to deal with 82 intense competitions with travel, practice and various physical maladies peppered in between. Being a professional athlete is strenuous and the players at the highest level of the league we love feel that more than anyone, which can lead to some pretty unfortunate happenings when a player’s playing days have been played.

We’ve all seen Charles Barkley tip the scales at over 300 pounds or Michael Jordan’s oft-bloated face in their post-NBA careers, so we know that something must be done to combat the reduction in physical activity. Tracy Murray — former NBA journeyman — gets that, which is why he’s joined up with noted television physician Dr. Phil to shed his after-basketball pounds.

According to Dr. Phillip’s website, Tracy has ballooned up to 270 lbs., significantly more than his playing weight of 225 lbs. He says he’s doing the “17-Day Diet Club” because he “Promised his dad he would lose weight so he doesn’t worry about his health.” A promise is a promise and that’s as good of a reason as any to lose weight with the assistance of a team full of medical professionals who host TV shows.

He’ll be competing on the show against a wide variety of characters, including a former college football player, a stand-up comedian and a 39-year-old lady who “used to be an in-store Barbie model,” whatever that is. Maybe I’m biased, but I’m betting everything I own that the competitive nature of a former NBAer will win this competition. Literally, I have bet everything I own on this, so he better win.

But seriously, if it takes a TV doctor who looks like Jeffrey Tambor in “The Larry Sanders Show” and got his start guest starring on “Oprah” for a former McDonald’s All-American to lose weight because he made a promise to his dad, then that’s what it takes. This is America, so that sort of thing makes total sense. The least we can do is wish him luck and stop confusing him with his cousin.

(via Holly’s mom)