Charles Barkley and Tiger Woods haven’t spoken to each other since Woods’ infamous November 2009 car accident, Barkley told a radio show Wednesday.
“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 on “The Mike Lupica Show”. 'I haven't talked to him in two years and I'm wondering what the hell is going on.”
During the interview, Barkley said he wished Woods “the best” at this week’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, but he also expressed his disappointment in his actions.
'It's been very frustrating to watch everything that has transpired, and getting rid of Steve Williams was probably the last straw for me,” Barkley said.
Woods is playing his first competitive event in 12 weeks due to left knee and Achilles’ injuries. He’s doing so with a new caddie, having fired 12-year employee Steve Williams during his break.
Barkley, as well as mutual close friend Michael Jordan, have both been blamed for being negative influences on Woods. Barkley, however, denied that he and Jordan knew details about Woods’ extramarital affairs.
In other Woods “friend” news, reporter L. Jon Wertheim writes in this week’s Sports Illustrated that Rodger Federer has distanced himself from Woods since the Thanksgiving night incident.
In the prime of their careers, Woods and Federer appeared to have a mutual respect, if manufactured friendship (both were IMG clients and represented Nike and Gillette). The two exchanged text messages, watched each other perform and needled one another as to who would win more majors (Federer currently leads 16-14).
That their relationship has cooled is shocking to few. That Woods has distanced himself from Barkley is a little more surprising – at least to the Hall of Fame basketball player.
'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.'