Retired National Basketball Association Hall of Famer-turned broadcaster for Turner Network Television Charles Barkley on Monday named the price to make him leave TNT for the new Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf Tour's broadcast booth.
"I love TNT," Barkley said during a podcast with Dan Patrick Monday. "If those dudes [at LIV] throw something crazy at me, I have to listen. I'm not going to get on here and say, 'it's not about the money.' Of course, it's about the money."
Barkley, 59, said that he met with LIV chief Greg Norman to discuss a move, but has not heard back from the organization.
"It's been very stressful on me," he said.
While Barkley indicated that Patrick's estimate of $20 million income from broadcasting and endorsements was very close, if not exactly what he is bringing in a year, he said he would be "celebrating" if LIV offered him triple that, or $60 million a year.
"If they triple it," Barkley told Patrick, "Your first question should be, 'Charles, where are we celebrating tonight.' "
Barkley also said that they have to get back to him by Thursday, when he plays in the pro-am event they are holding at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, if they want to make a deal.
"I'm going to give them a deadline," he said. "The deadline is going to be Thursday. I'm playing at the Pro-Am Thursday … I'm not going to keep TNT in limbo. I don't think it's fair to them. They've gotten plenty of play out of me coming to play out there Thursday. I'm not just going to be no show pony. Don't be wasting my time."
The new LIV tour is primarily backed financially by the Public Investment Firm of Saudi Arabia and is used to fund "productive commercial projects" that are significant to Saudi Arabia's economy, according to Investopedia.
The fund started in 1971 and now controls close to $430 billion in international and domestic investments.
The deep pockets of the new rival to the PGA tour, is drawing several stars to the new competition and format, which hopes to increase the popularity of the sport, according to the organization.
The new organization is not without its critics, from the poaching of players complaints by the PGA itself, to complaints from a major 9/11 families group objecting to the Saudi-backed group having a tour event in New Jersey when several of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, the Guardian reported Monday.
"They might have all thought about what it felt like for the families if they came to Bedminster and New Jersey," Terry Strada, the national chair of 9/11 Families United told the Guardian. "Of all the courses in the world, this is literally the worst they could hold a tournament in. It was extremely insulting and hurtful to think that, six weeks prior to the latest anniversary, families were not going to feel the pain of a Saudi‑backed league in their back yard."
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