Charles Barkley had openly been flirting with a move to LIV Golf but the former NBA star has decided against the move and will stay in his current role.
Despite the rampant criticism of Greg Normand and the LIV Golf Invitational Series, the Saudi-backed golf startup continues to poach big names from the PGA Tour, both on the course and in terms of on-air talent.
David Feherty recently signed a lucrative deal with LIV and, soon after, the rumor mill began spinning again that Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley, currently an on-air talent for TNT and Turner Media, could be the next to go. In fact, the former 76ers, Rockets and Suns superstar was open about his negotiations and flirtation with joining the tour.
Not anymore, though.
LIV Golf rumors: Charles Barkley not joining new tour
On Friday, Barkley spoke with the New York Post and stated that he was staying with Turner and would not be joining LIV Golf. He said the following in the brief interview about his decision:
“I want to thank Greg Norman and LIV for their interest in me. I wish those guys great success and nothing but the best. But, in my best interest, and being fair to Turner — because Turner and basketball have given me every single thing in my life. It is best for me to move on and I’m staying with Turner for the rest of my TV career.”
That’s a strong statement from Barkley on the matter in terms of his plans — not that we should expect anything different from one of the most outspoken and forthright athletes/celebrities that we’ve ever seen.
Obviously, the decision not to join LIV will be popular among many golf and NBA fans as the break-off tour has drawn much criticism for its motives and financial backing. Perhaps more importantly, though, the always elite Inside the NBA cast with Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson will remain intact, allowing hoops fans to breathe easy as well.