Rolling Out

Charles Barkley is retiring from TV

Basketball and broadcasting legend closing the curtains
charles barkley
Charles Barkley (Photo credit: / s_bukley)

After three decades of laughter and entertainment, Charles Barkley has announced he is retiring from television.

On June 14, in an NBA TV postgame show after the Dallas Mavericks‘ Game 4 win of the 2024 NBA Finals, Barkley made the special announcement.

“I really love TNT. NBA television,” Barkley said. “You’ve guys have been great to me for 24 years, and I just want to say to my entire NBA family. I love you guys.”

The announcement comes amid reports Turner is on the verge of losing broadcast rights of the NBA to NBC, where the league shined in the 1990s and early 2000s. Loss of broadcast rights would be the end of “Inside the NBA,” the show Barkley stars on, alongside co-hosts Kenny Smith, Ernie Johnson Jr. and Shaquille O’Neal.

“There’s been a lot of noise around our network the last few months,” Barkley said. “I talked to all the other networks, but I ain’t going anywhere other than TNT. But I have made the decision myself, no matter what happens, next year is going to be my last year on television.”

Barkley, 61, previously said he didn’t want to be on TV as an old man and hinted at leaving earlier. However, in a February 2023 episode of “All The Smoke,” Barkley revealed he was only staying on TNT because the network was negotiating with the NBA to maintain broadcasting rights.

“My heart is full with joy and gratitude,” Barkley said, “but I’m going to pass the baton at the end of next year. I hope the NBA stays with TNT, but for me, I wanted y’all to hear from me personally. I’m not doing any more interviews. Don’t y’all be calling me. Nobody calling me. I’m not talking about this again, but I wanted to tell my NBA TV and TNT family that I’m not going to another network, but I’m going to pass the baton off to [fellow TNT analysts and former NBA players] Jamal Crawford, Vince Carter or you, Steve [Smith].

“Next year, I’m going to retire after 25 years. I just want to say thank you, and I wanted you to hear from me first.”

Any hope for NBA and TV fans before the announcement becomes a reality? The context is that this is Barkley, the same man who publicly stated his interest in running to become the mayor of Leeds, Alabama, and the governor of Alabama in the 2000s.

To stop yourself from crying, here are some of his funniest moments.

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