Former NBA star Charles Barkley said he has spoken to his friend Tiger Woods since the golfer’s infidelities became public late last year.
When asked during his “Saturday Night Live” rehearsal on Thursday how Tiger was doing, Charles told Access Hollywood, “I think he’s going to be OK. Yeah, he’s going to be fine.”
Charles said he hasn’t tried to give his friend pointers on how to handle scandals.
“I wasn’t trying to give him advice or anything,” Charles said. “That’s his own business, but I wanted him to know he was not alone.”
In fact, hearing on television that he’s been offering Tiger advice has actually irritated the ex-NBA star.
“It was funny because I would listen to all these people on TV who were idiots — sportscasters saying that we were trying to give him advice. It’s not true. We want him to know we are his friends no matter what because when you do something publicly, myself included, so many people are shooting at you,” Charles continued. “Everybody’s talking about you like a dog. I just wanted him to know — and he knows — that we are his friends no matter what. We ain’t his friends just because he’s Tiger Woods. We’re his friends period.”
Charles, who will appear on “Saturday Night Live” on January 9, also spoke out about Jay Leno amid rumors that the TV funnyman was moving back to his old 11:30 PM time slot.
“I think that Jay got caught in a very awkward situation because it’s a little bit different going against regular television… I thought the critics were really unfair to Jay,” Charles said. “I mean, he’s great at what he does and to me, the show wasn’t really different. It was just on against better competition. I’m happy for Jay because I think he’s a great guy.”