Charles Barkley is looking for his own Cinderella story.
The Basketball Hall of Famer is set to compete against NFL legend Peyton Manning and Golden State Warriors superstar Steph Curry in Friday’s “The Match,” alongside pro partner Phil Mickelson. The self-proclaimed “golfing degenerate” believes he and his much-maligned swing can keep pace with the greats.
“I have put the effort in, I put the work in, and I’m hoping I just can handle it under the pressure,” Barkley recently told Golf Digest.
“Let me just say this: I’m not bragging about it, but nobody has worked harder than me to be better at golf. I have hit balls five hours a day for the last six months. I just really wanted to get better at golf,” he continued.
“I’m really appreciative of Charles Barkley, because Sir Charles is putting himself out there in front of the public in an area that he is not competent at all and taking all the hits,” Mickelson said.
“I mean, that type of self-deprecation and ability to laugh at himself and put himself out there I have a lot of respect for. I’m honored to have him as my partner. I’m not overly optimistic about having him as my partner, but I do think we’re going to be able to come out on top. We’re going to find a way,” he continued.
As for correspondent Gary McCord, he’s scratching his head as to why Barkley is “subjecting himself to this.”
“He’s gone from talking about the chaos to stepping on the tee and creating chaos. He’ll be the agent of chaos in this thing, and it’s going to be really, really interesting,” McCord said.
“The Match 3” gets underway at 3 PM Friday on TNT.