Charles Barkley

Despite rumors surrounding Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, the greatest pending transaction this NBA offseason is the future of Charles Barkley. And we’re getting very close to a decision.

Barkley has not hidden from the fact that he’s speaking with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series about a potential broadcasting position. And while he seems comfortable in accepting the fact that joining LIV Golf would put his future at Turner Sports and Inside the NBA in doubt, Barkley still claims this past week of headlines has been “very stressful.”

Barkley joined the Dan Patrick Show Tuesday morning and confirmed he hasn’t received a formal offer from LIV Golf. But he’s setting a deadline of Thursday, July 27. The deadline coincides with Barkley playing in this week’s pro-am for the third event of the LIV Golf series at Donald Trump’s golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey.

“I’m not gonna keep TNT in limbo, to be honest with you. I don’t think it’s fair to them,” Barkley told Patrick of his reasoning for putting pressure on LIV to move quickly.

It’s been just 11 days since news broke about Barkley potentially joining LIV Golf for a media role and less than a week since he had dinner with World Golf Hall of Famer and current LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman to discuss their mutual interest. But in these last two weeks, Barkley’s name has put LIV front and center in NBA circles, providing the Saudi-backed tour with a free attention boost.

“They’ve gotten plenty of play out of me coming to play up there Thursday,” Barkley explained. “I’m not gonna be no show pony. I’ve got you all pub for a week. Don’t be wasting my time. When I leave New Jersey Thursday night, if I don’t have an offer in hand, it’s over.”

And if that offer is going to be enough to lure Barkley away from the NBA, it better be massive. During the Dan Patrick Show, Barkley admitted he makes north of $20 million per year between endorsement deals and his contract with Turner. Because LIV Golf is financed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, Barkley expects that taking blood money from a government with shameful human rights abuses will cause him to lose his TNT contract and endorsement deals.

“I love TNT. I love Ernie (Johnson), Kenny (Smith), and Shaq (O’Neal) but if they (LIV Golf) do something crazy, I have to listen,” Barkley told Patrick. “I can’t get on here and say it’s not about the money. Of course it’s about the money. Everyone is working for money. Guys are getting between $150-$200 million, I’d be stupid not to listen to those offers.”

Patrick wished Barkley luck in the decision-making process as he prepares to mull an offer from LIV Golf and weighs the potential impact it will have on his career as a basketball analyst.

“There will be fallout,” Barkley said of his pending decision. “But I’m a big boy, I can handle it.”

It’s been almost three decades since Barkley defiantly declared “I am not a role model.” That stance doesn’t appear to have changed as he considers a partnership with the Saudi-backed golf league. LIV Golf has money to spend and Barkley is clearly attracted by their deep pockets, regardless of how Saudi Arabia operates as a government.

Barkley is one of the most valuable media personalities in sports, but an NBA personality joining LIV Golf only enhances its gimmicky reputation, as opposed to establishing itself as a league that can legitimately trump the PGA Tour. But the interest Barkley generates is undeniable. He might not be transcendent enough to attract diehard PGA Tour fans to LIV Golf, but Barkley can certainly boost awareness and generate interest from the casual sports fan.

[Dan Patrick Show]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to