Charles Barkley wants fans at basketball games despite coronavirus concerns: 'You can't stop living your life'

George BackProducer, Yahoo Entertainment
Yahoo TV

Charles Barkley dropped by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Tuesday night. The former NBA star and current basketball analyst had a lot to say about the impact coronavirus is having on his beloved sport.

At the very beginning of Barkley’s interview, Stephen Colbert asked, “Let's talk coronavirus. How is that affecting your life?” Barkley quickly responded, “Not at all.”

While the response drew laughter from the studio audience, Barkley was being serious. “Unfortunately some people have passed away and some people are sick but you can't stop living your life,” said Barkley.

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Amid recent reports that the NBA is considering crowd-less games, due to the virus, Barkley questioned the point. "I'm like, OK, if they don't come to games, are they not going to live their lives? Are they not going to go to work? Are they not going to go out and have dinner and things like that?” asked Barkley. “Just not coming to a basketball game, I don't think that's going to solve all the issues.” 

Barkley also weighed in on reports that the upcoming NCAA March Madness tournament might also go crowd-less. Barkley compared his experiences with the tournament to his experiences playing basketball for Team U.S.A. in the 1992 and 1996 Olympics. “Other than the Olympics, March Madness is the greatest thing I have ever experienced,” said Barkley. “It would be a travesty if the fans weren't there.”

The Late Show With Stephen Colbert airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. on CBS.

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