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CNBC Transcript: CNBC's Maria Bartiromo Speaks with NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley Today on CNBC's "Closing Bell"

WHEN: TODAY, THURSDAY, JULY 18

WHERE: CNBC'S "CLOSING BELL"

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley today on CNBC's "Closing Bell." Following is a link to the video of the interview on CNBC.com: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?play=1&video=3000184048. All references must be sourced to CNBC.

BARTIROMO: THANK YOU SO MUCH.WE ARE CONTINUING OUR SPECIAL COVERAGE FROM AMERICAN CENTURY CELEBRITY CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF TOURNAMENT TODAY IN LAKE TAHOE, NEVADA. MY NEXT GUEST IS 500 TO 1 SHOT TO WIN THE TOURNAMENT. BUT HE IS STILL ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR PEOPLE ON THE COURSE THE ALWAYS OUTSPOKEN NBA HALL OF FAMER, SIR CHARLES BARKLEY JOINS ME RIGHT NOW. CHARLES OF COURSE AN EMMY AWARD WINNING STUDIO ANALYST FOR NBA ON TNT.

BARKLEY: CAN YOU BELIEVE THEY GIVE US TROPHIES FOR BEING ON TELEVISION? FIRST OF ALL, I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY PAID ME TO WATCH LEBRON JAMES PLAY, NOW THEY ARE GIVING ME TROPHIES WHAT A GREAT COUNTRY WE LIVE IN.

BARTIROMO: AMERICA IS A GREAT COUNTRY. I'M SAYIN. SO 500 TO 1 ODDS, HOW DID YOU GAME THESE DAYS?

BARKLEY: I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO THE WEEKEND TO BE HONEST WITH YOU. I'M HOPING I PLAY BETTER, BUT I'M NOT GOING TO SWEAT IT. YOU CAN'T BEAT THIS. FIRST OF ALL, IT IS HOT AS HELL EVERYWHERE ELSE IN THE COUNTRY. IT IS PERFECT WEATHER HERE. WALKING AMONG THE TREES. FANS ARE FANTASTIC. BUT 500 TO 1, I PROBABLY WOULDN'T BET ON MYSELF.

BARTIROMO: YOU WOULDN'T? BUT THAT'S HOW YOU WIN MONEY.

BARKLEY: WELL LISTEN I HAVE NO CHANCE OF WINNING THIS THING. YOU HAVE TO KNOW YOUR LIMITATIONS THAT'S ONE OF THE KEYS OF HOW YOU CAN BE SUCCESSFUL.

BARTIROMO: YOU TALK ABOUT THE FANS. I SAW YOU LAST NIGHT. YOU WERE SO GENEROUS WITH EVERYBODY, BUYING EVERYBODY DRINKS. THEY WERE JUST CRAZY FOR YOU. BECAUSE YOU ARE SO GENEROUS WITH YOUR TIME.

BARKLEY: WELL, MARIA, NO DISRESPECT TO YOU. THERE'S ONLY FIVE REAL JOBS IN THE WORLD TEACHER, POLICEMAN,FIREMAN, DOCTORS AND SOMEBODY IN THE ARMED SERVICE. EVERYONE ELSE JUST SHUT THE HELL UP AND ENJOY LIFE. I THINK THOSE FIVE JOBS ARE IMPORTANT AND SIGNIFICANT. IF YOU DON'T HAVE ONE OF THOSE JOBS, YOU SHOULDN'T TAKE YOURSELF THAT SERIOUS. I ENJOY MEETING THE FANS. I MEET COOL PEOPLE IN MY LIFE.

BARTIROMO: GOOD FOR YOU. WONDERFUL TO HEAR YOU SAY THAT, CHARLES. WHAT IS GOING ON IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS THESE DAYS? WHAT WOULD YOU SAY ARE THE MAIN HEADLINES?

BARKLEY: I THINK IN THE NBA, EVERYBODY IS TRYING TO CATCH UP WITH THE MIAMI HEAT. WHAT BROOKLYN HAS DONE THIS OFF SEASON. YOU LOOK WHAT HOUSTON'S DONE WITH DWIGHT HOWARD THIS OFF-SEASON. EVERYBODY IS TRYING TO CATCH UP WITH THE HEAT. BASEBALL THE ALL-STAR GAME WAS AWESOME.

BARTIROMO: IT WAS AWESOME.

BARKLEY: I GOT A CHANCE TO MEET MARIANO RIVERA A COUPLE OF YEARS AGO. AND I THOUGHT I WAS—I PROBABLY GOT NO CHANCE OF GOING TO HEAVEN BUT THAT WAS PROBABLY THE CLOSEST I EVER GOING TO MEET GOD. WHEN I MET MR. RIVERA IT WAS ONE OF THE COOLEST THINGS I HAVE EVER DONE WITH MY LIFE. TO SEE THE PLAYERS APPRECIATION FOR HIM AND THE FANS APPRECIATION FOR HIM WAS REALLY SPECIAL.

BARTIROMO: THAT IS REALLY GREAT. WE'VE TALKED A LITTLE BIT IN THE PAST ABOUT YOU FOLLOWING CNBC,FOLLOWING YOUR INVESTMENTS YOU HAVE MONEY IN THIS MARKET?

BARKLEY: I DO HAVE MONEY IN THIS MARKET. THE KEY WHEN YOU HAVE MONEY, I'M NOT BRAGGING, I AM JUST BLESSED TO HAVE MONEY. YOU ONLY PROBABLY WANT TO RISK 20-25% OF IT. 70% YOU WANT TO JUST PUT IN SAFE STUFF. YOU KNOW 70% OF PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES GO BROKE.

BARTIROMO: I KNOW THAT IS AMAZING. I FEEL LIKE THE MORE MONEY YOU HAVE, THE MORE AT RISK YOU ARE TO LOSE IT.

BARKLEY: NO THE MORE FREELOADERS YOU HAVE, ACTUALLY. YOU JUST HAVE TO LEARN TO TELL YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS NO. ONCE YOU START GIVING PEOPLE MONEY, THEY NEVER STOP. YOU BECOME AN ENABLER. ONCE YOU START GIVING PEOPLE MONEY, THEY NEVER STOP. IT IS NOT LIKE YOU SAY, HERE, LET ME GIVE YOU MONEY, BUT THEY KEEP COMING BACK. YOU HAVE TO LEARN THE MAGIC WORD, NO, I'M NOT GIVING YOU ANY MONEY.

BARTIROMO: YOU HAVE TO PUT YOUR MONEY IN THE MARKET IF YOU WANT LONG-TERM INVESTMENT GAINS, RIGHT?

BARKLEY: WELL THE KEY IS YOU JUST WANT A BUNCH OF SINGLES AND DOUBLES. MOST OF THE TIME, YOU PROBABLY GET A HUNDRED BUSINESS PLANS AND INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES A WEEK. BUT MOST OF THEM START OUT SAYING, I HAVE A WAY TO MAKE A LOT OF MONEY. VERY FEW INVESTMENTS DO YOU MAKE A LOT OF MONEY. VERY SELDOM DO ARE YOU GOING TO HIT A HOME RUN. JUST YOU JUST WANT A BUNCH OF SINGLES AND DOUBLES ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU'VE GOT MONEY.NOW IF YOU DON'T HAVE MONEY YOU ARE GOING FOR THE HOME RUN EVERY TIME THAT'S A DIFFERENT ANIMAL. BUT I'VE BEEN BLESSED TO MAKE A LOT OF MONEY FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME. I JUST WANT SINGLES AN DOUBLES.

BARTIROMO: YOU GOT TO HOLD ONTO IT.

BARKLEY: YEAH. YOU JUST GOT PROTECT IT.

BARTIROMO: LAST TIME WE SPOKE, I THINK IT WAS A COUPLE YEARS AGO, HERE. YOU SAID, ANYONE WHO TWEETS IS AN IDIOT. DO YOU STILL THINK THAT?

BARKLEY: OF COURSE I DO.. I WOULD NEVER TWEET. THE THING ABOUT BEING IN THE LIME LIGHT, YOU'RE LIKE THE HOMECOMING QUEEN. ALL OF THE UGLY GIRLS HATE YOU. WHEN YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL,THERE IS BUILT-IN ANIMOSITY TOWARDS YOU. IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOU SAY. HALF OF THE PEOPLE LIKE IT AND HALF OF THE PEOPLE DISLIKE IT. I CHOOSE NOT TO GIVE THOSE THAT HALF THAT DON'T LIKE ME AMMUNITION THAT'S ALL IT IS.

BARTIROMO: BECAUSE THEN YOU GET THE HATERS?

BARKLEY: AND THAT WAS THE TOUGHEST THING TO LEARN FOR ME TO FIRST AND GOING BACK TO '84 WHEN I FIRST GOT INTO THE NBA AND BECAME SOME WHAT KNOWN. THERE IS BUILT-IN ANIMOSITY TOWARD PEOPLE WHO ARE SUCCESSFUL. LIKE WHEN I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL, ME AND MY FRIEND HATED THE SMART KIDS BECAUSE WE WERE DUMB. WE DIDN'T KNOW WE WERE IDIOTS FOR BEING DUMB. WE SHOULD HAVE APPRECIATED THOSE KIDS FOR BEING SMART AND BEING SUCCESSFUL. AND LIKE I SAY, THERE IS DUMB PEOPLE DON'T LIKE SMART PEOPLE. POOR PEOPLE DON'T LIKE RICH PEOPLE. UGLY PEOPLE DON'T LIKE GOOD LOOKING PEOPLE.PSYCHOLOGICALLY, THERE'S A DISADVANTAGE. SO I CHOOSE TO, I DON'T NEED THE HATERS.

BARTIROMO: BUT JUST BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT TWEETING, DOESN'T MEAN YOU ARE NOT OPINIONATED IN SOME OF YOUR THOUGHTS.

BARKLEY: I WANT TO GET PAID TO BE OPINIONATED.

BARTIROMO: YOU WERE IN SUPPORT OF JASON COLLINS COMING OUT AS THE FIRST OPENLY GUY PLAYER IN THE NBA.

BARKLEY: YES.

BARTIROMO: YOU SAID PLAYERS ARE MORE READY THAN THEY EVER HAVE BEEN.

BARKLEY: FIRST OF ALL WE HAVE ALL PLAYED WITH GAY PLAYERS. YOU WORK WITH GAY PEOPLE. YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW IT. BUT WHO CARES.

BARTIROMO: EXACTLY. WHO CARES.

BARKLEY: FIRST OF ALL, I'M BLACK. I'M AGAINST ANY FORM OF DISCRIMINATION. I LEARNED FROM THE GREAT BILL RUSSELL, ONE OF MY MENTORS, BEING BLACK, YOU HAVE TO ALWAYS WANT TO BE INCLUSIVE. AND IF SOMEONE IS GAY, GOD BLESS THEM.

BARTIROMO: ANY THOUGHTS ON THE GEORGE ZIMMERMAN VERDICT.

BARKLEY: I AGREE WITH THE VERDICT. I'M SORRY THAT YOUNG KID GOT KILLED. BUT THEY DIDN'T HAVE ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO CHARGE HIM. SOMETHING CLEARLY WENT WRONG THAT NIGHT. CLEARLY SOMETHING WENT WRONG. I FEEL BAD FOR ANYONE LOSING A KID. BUT IF YOU LOOKED AT THE CASE AND YOU DON'T MAKE IT – THERE WAS SOME RACIAL PROFILING, NO QUESTION ABOUT IT. BUT SOMETHING HAPPENED THAT CHANGED THE DYNAMIC OF THAT NIGHT. AND I KNOW -- THAT'S PROBABLY NOT A POPULAR OPINION AMONG MOST PEOPLE. BUT JUST LOOKING AT THE EVIDENCE I AGREE WITH THE VERDICT. I FEEL BAD BECAUSE I DON'T LIKE WHEN RACE GETS OUT IN THE MEDIA. I DON'T THINK MEDIA HAS A PURE HEART, AS I CALL IT. VERY FEW PEOPLE HAVE A PURE HEART WHEN IT COMES TO RACE. RACISM IS WRONG IN ANY, SHAPE, FORM. A LOT OF BLACK PEOPLE ARE RACIST TOO. I THINK SOMETIMES WHEN PEOPLE TALK ABOUT RACISM, THEY SAY ONLY WHITE PEOPLE ARE RACIST.THERE ARE A LOT OF BLACK PEOPLE WHO ARE RACIST. AND I DON'T LIKE WHEN IT GETS OUT THERE IN THE MEDIA BECAUSE I DON'T THINK THE MEDIA HAS CLEAN HANDS.

BARTIROMO: I THINK YOU ARE RIGHT I AM GLAD YOU MADE THAT POINT.

BARKLEY: YEAH I DON'T THINK THE MEDIA HAS CLEAN HANDS. I'M SORRY THE YOUNG KID GOT KILLED BUT JUDGING BY THE EVIDENCE, I DON'T THINK THAT GUY SHOULD HAVE WENT TO JAIL THE REST OF HIS LIFE. SOMETHING HAPPENED BAD OBVIOUSLY.

BARTIROMO: YEAH. I LIKE WHAT THE JUROR SAID, THEY BOTH SHOULD HAVE WALKED AWAY. AND IF THERE IS A SHADOW OF A DOUBT, THERE IS A SHADOW OF A DOUBT.

BARKLEY: AND LET ME TELL YOU MR. ZIMMERMAN WAS WRONG TO -- HE WAS RACIAL PROFILING.

BARTIROMO: ABSOLUTELY.

BARKLEY: BUT I THINK TRAYVON MARTIN, GOD REST HIS SOUL, HE DID FLIP THE SWITCH AND START BEATING THE HELL OUT OF MR. ZIMMERMAN. BUT IT WAS JUST A BAD SITUATION. LIKE I SAID THE MAIN THING, I FEEL BAD, IT GIVES EVERY BLACK AND WHITE PERSON WHO IS RACIST AP LATFORM TO VENT THEIR IGNORANCE. THAT'S THE THING THAT BOTHERED ME THE MOST.BECAUSE I WATCHED THIS TRIAL CLOSELY. I WATCH THESE ALL PEOPLE ON TELEVISION TALKING ABOUT IT. A LOT OF THESE PEOPLE HAVE A HIDDEN AGENDA. THEY WANT THEIR RACIST VIEWS, WHETHER THEY ARE WHITE OR BLACK --

BARTIROMO: THE BIASSED COMES OUT.

BARKLEY: IT DOES. IT DEFINITELY COMES OUT. IT WAS A BAD SITUATION. WE ALL LOST. AND I FEEL BAD FOR HIS PARENTS. YOU DON'T EVER WANT TO SEE ANYBODY LOSE A KID.

BARTIROMO: CHARLES, YOU MAKE SO MANY GREAT POINTS. SO NICE TO HAVE YOU ON THE PROGRAM.

BARKLEY: THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME ON THE PROGRAM.

BARTIROMO: THANK YOU. DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN YOU WERE HERE BEFORE AND WE PLAYED GOLF?

BARKLEY: WELL, I PLAYED GOLF.YOU DID SOMETHING. YOU MADE ME LOOK LIKE TIGER WOODS.


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