Retired NBA star Charles Barkley
will not be making his oft-discussed bid to become governor of Alabama
or sending any Twitter messages any time soon.
Ahead of a pro-am golf event before this week's LPGA event here, the former NBA star forward known for his outspoken candid views picked his favorites for the upcoming NBA season and said he will not be on any ballots in 2014.
"I think the problem with politics now is they've all sold their souls," said Barkley, an independent. "Whether you're a conservative or a liberal... they are both full of it.
"They aren't trying to help people. They are just trying to dig in. They've sold their soul to special interest groups. America is divided by economics. It's rich people screwing poor people. That's what America has become.
"Conservatives sold their souls to the insurance companies and pharmaceutical groups. It's not about trying to help people, it's just about 'I just want my piece of the pie.' That's not the way I want to live my life.
"I don't have time for games. I wanted to get in politics to do great things."
Barkley, who works as a television commentator, dismissed reality television and Twitter when asked about the wedding of Los Angeles Lakers star Lamar Odom
and celebrity Khloe Kardasian after knowing each other for only a month.
"I wish them the best in their marriage, but I'm not a big trash TV person. I hate that stuff," Barkley said.
"It's like Twitter. I hate that. I always joke that people who do Twitter are idiots. I never said to myself, 'Let me check in and see what Shaquille O
'Neal is doing today.' I just think that's just silly.
"Get your own life and set your own goals and ambitions. Following a celebrity or somebody around like that, that's just idiotic."
Barkley called for an end to the lockout of NBA referees for pre-season exhibition games in a labor dispute, saying, "We need our officials. They do a great job. We got to solve that situation."
The defending champion Los Angeles Lakers are the team to beat in the upcoming NBA season in Barkley's eyes and he sees only four rivals who can deny them a repeat crown - San Antonio, Cleveland, Orlando and Boston.
"Only five teams can win the championship," Barkley said. "That's one thing that stresses me about the NBA. Clearly we're in a recession. Them are the only teams that got a chance to win the championship and that bothers me."
Barkley wants to see NBA Most Valuable Player LeBron James stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who added big man O'Neal in hopes of bringing a title and keeping James, who can leave after this season.
"I hope LeBron stays in Cleveland," Barkley said. "It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity where a guy that great can play at home and just take a whole city on his back and rise up.
"We've never had a player that big, that strong, that fast. I mean, he is a unique player. This guy, first of all, he's only 26. He's got a chance of doing stuff that's never been done before. It's a pleasure to watch him."
Barkley said Alabama
is not ready for a black governor, citing what he sees as a double standard with Barack Obama, the first black US President.
"They're not ready," Barkley said. "We just came off the worst president in the history of civilization in George Bush. President Obama is a ray of sunshine.
"You can see a lot this stuff going on with President Obama. Eve
rybody is going crazy talking about his spending. He's not spending any more money than George Bush did, and there was not this hatred and animosity toward him.
"And he didn't take over in the middle of a recession and with two monstrous wars going on. George Bush spent like crazy. But there is some animosity that is racially motivated toward Barack, and it's sad."