Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Charles Barkley on Tiger: 'The last straw'
By Matt Ehalt
Listen to the complete interview:
Charles Barkley and Tiger Woods, once fast friends, haven't spoken to each other in nearly two years.
And now that Woods has parted with another of his friends, longtime caddie Steve Williams, Barkley has run out of patience.
"It's been very frustrating to watch everything that has transpired," Barkley said Wednesday on ESPN New York 1050's The Mike Lupica Show, "and getting rid of Steve Williams was probably the last straw for me."
Barkley, known for his opinionated and at times controversial takes, minced his words when speaking about Woods on Wednesday. While he wished Woods "the best" with the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on tap for Thursday, and said he will always love Woods like a brother, he said he’s disappointed with him. He said they have not talked since Woods' car accident in 2009.
"You think you're friends with a guy. You talk to him once a week for 15 years. You're like, this dude is my friend, we do things, we have fun together," Barkley said. "I haven't talked to him in two years and I'm wondering what the hell is going on."
Barkley added: "I'm confused [as] to where he's going."
Barkley said he has heard the claims that he and Michael Jordan were a bad influence on Woods, but Barkley adamantly denied that he and Jordan knew details about Woods’ extra-marital affairs, which came to light after his car accident.
"It was interesting sitting back and listening and hearing me and Michael corrupted him, [yet] we knew none of this stuff was going in," Barkley said.
The absence of communication with Woods for the past two years still puzzles Barkley.
"I'm sitting back like everyone else and saying, what the hell is going on? I just feel sad, to be honest with you," Barkley said. "You’re like, dude, who is around this guy, who has his back, who has his best interest, who doesn't want anything from him? I don't know why we haven’t talked to him in a couple of years."