Charles Barkley says he’s sticking with the NBA and turning his back on further offers to join LIV Golf as a broadcaster.
“I want to thank Greg Norman and LIV for their interest in me,” Barkley told the New York Post. “I wish these guys every success and only the best. But in my best interest and fair to Turner – because Turner and basketball have given me everything in my life – it’s best for me to move on and I’m staying with Turner for the rest of my TV career.”
Barkley, 59, told ESPN on Thursday he had not received a formal offer from LIV but had spoken with Norman, the golf series’ CEO.
“I met up with Greg and told him yes. I’m in a win-win situation,” Barkley said Thursday. “If they offer me something good, that’s great. If not, I have a great job at TNT.”
Barkley will keep that great job after saying Thursday he doesn’t want to wait too long before making a decision as he doesn’t want to keep the network or its sponsors in limbo.
Barkley, a Hall of Fame basketball player, is an avid golfer, though he’s known more for an unusual swing in his swing than for any success on the course. Any inclination he had to join LIV was complicated by the financial backing of the Gulf Series from the Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund.
“Everyone invents words like ‘sportswear’ and ‘dirty money’. I think listen, when you play sports, we all take money from sources that you might not love or appreciate,” Barkley said Thursday. “I don’t want to be a hypocrite. These guys [LIV golfers] try to earn a living. I wish them only the best. The same goes for my friends on the PGA Tour. But everyone is trying to play the moral card in some way.
“For some reason everyone wants to point outrage,” Barkley said. “I will never allow that under my supervision.”
LIV Golf on Wednesday announced plans to expand to 14 events in 2023, where 48 golfers will compete for an unprecedented $405 million in prize money. LIV Golf will also host additional tournaments in 2023 as part of its LIV Golf International Series, launched this year through a $300 million investment in the Asian Tour.
Information from ESPN’s John Barr was used in this report.
https://www.espn.com/golf/story/_/id/34311717/charles-barkley-says-staying-turner-broadcasting-entertaining-liv-golf-interest Charles Barkley says he is staying with Turner Broadcasting after entertaining LIV Golf interest