Former NBA star Charles Barkley used to be friends with Tiger Woods – such good friends, in fact, that Barkley says they talked once a week for 15 years.
Well, Barkley says now they haven’t talked since Woods’ scandal in late 2009. Barkley said Tuesday on Campus Insiders’ “Seth Davis Show” that it’s “disappointing” to lose that friendship but now must learn to accept it.
“I’m a Tiger Woods fan,” Barkley said during the interview, which can be viewed here. “I have not talked to Tiger since the accident. He went in a different direction. I’m not upset by that, (but) I’m disappointed. …
“I understand that situation; I’m disappointed. But that was a thing in his life. He has to handle that how he handled it. I try not to ever be a Monday morning quarterback. That night changed his life forever. He chose to handle that, to just sever his friends and I have to accept that.”
And Barkley maintains that he doesn’t hold any ill will toward Woods. Just the opposite, in fact.
“I really want him to break Jack Nicklaus’ record,” Barkley said. “I think Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer who ever lived. He’s always treated me with respect and dignity, and I feel like the same.
Granted, this is not new territory for Sir Charles.
Barkley has denied that he and Michael Jordan were negative influences on Woods, but he has spent more than five years discussing their now-nonexistent relationship.
“You think you’re friends with a guy, you talk to him once a week for 15 years, and you’re like, This dude is my friend. We do things. We have fun together,” Barkley said in 2011. “I haven’t talked to him in two years and I’m wondering what the hell is going on.”
In July, Barkley said that Woods isn’t a “very sociable guy” and that “we’re not friends anymore.”