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LIV Golf's third event got underway at Trump National Bedminster on Friday, with Bubba Watson being announced as the newest signing during the broadcast. However, one name that won't be heading to the Saudi-backed series is Charles Barkley, with the television analyst sticking with TNT.
Speaking to the New York Post, the former Basketball player revealed that he won't be moving to LIV Golf as a broadcaster. The 59-year-old stated: “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.”
The American reportedly has three years left on his contract at TNT, with the former MVP also having $30 million remaining on his deal. The New York Post and Barkley also stated that, besides the $10 million a year he makes from TNT, he also makes another $10 million in endorsements, including Subway, Capital One and Dick’s Sporting Goods.
“My number one priority is to be fair to Turner and my sponsors to be honest with you,” Barkley explained. “I couldn’t just keep them holding on so I made up my mind [Thursday] night. I was like, ‘Make a decision and live with it.’ ”
Previously, Barkley had revealed talks with LIV Golf. However, the American admitted it would take big money to lure him away from TNT and to LIV Golf. At the time, and speaking on The Dan Patrick Show, Barkley said: "If they offer me something crazy, I'm gonna take it too. Considering how much I make now, it would take a really huge number for me to give up my life right now. I'm not gonna give up my life for... I don't like to talk about how much money I make."
Now though, having played in the Pro-Am event at Trump Bedminster on Thursday, Barkley is staying put with TNT, as he stated: “I sat down with a couple of [LIV] people and I told them, ‘When I told you, I was going to talk to you today, one way or the other and I stick to my word, always. I’m not going to be unfair to Turner. I’m not going to be unfair to my sponsors. This is the decision — and that’s it.’”
With the Basketball Hall of Famer now staying put at TNT, it is unclear as to whether Turner will extend Barkley's contract which has three years left to go. Coincidentally, his contract ends at the same time as the network’s deal with the NBA.
Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.
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