Charles Barkley Tnt Retirement An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Charles Barkley’s playing career ended in 1990 when it actually concluded in 2000. The error has been rectified and the article now accurately states its end date as 2000.
As recently as February, Charles Barkley reiterated his intention to retire at the end of his contract with TNT and its parent company.
As always, much to the delight of many NBA fans, it appears he won’t be leaving anytime soon.
Warner Bros. Discovery Sports, formerly known as Turner Sports, revealed Monday that Barkley and his three colleagues on TNT’s beloved “Inside the NBA” studio show have reached an agreement to “remain together for many years to come”.
According to multiple reports, the contracts for Barkley and fellow analysts Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith, as well as host Ernie Johnson, run for 10 years.
Barkley is currently tied to Charles Barkley Tnt Retirement Signs A Life-altering Deal To Remain With Tnt’s Nba Show through the 2024-25 season; this coincides with TNT’s endpoint in its deal to air NBA games
Once that contract ends, there could be an intense bidding war for rights to NBA games and content; keeping the “Inside the NBA” crew aboard could be touted by TNT as a selling point in order to maintain league loyalty.
The New York Post reported that Barkley’s contract might enable him to leave TNT should the NBA lose in 2025. They also noted that he is making $10 million annually on his existing deal and could make up to $200 million total over the course of his new one.
“Our show is like a big family to me – Ernie, Kenny, and Shaquille are like brothers to me,” Barkley, 59, said in a quote shared by Warner Bros. Discovery Sports. “This opportunity has been life-altering… I feel blessed that I get to do live television for a living.”
On a conference call with reporters before February’s All-Star Game, Barkley took an entirely different tone. At that time (via The Dallas Morning News), he mentioned his three years left on his TNT contract and said that this could likely be it for him.
“Ernie, Kenny, and Shaq are amazing people to work with. But I just don’t feel the need to keep working until my contract is up,” Barkley declared at that time. “If I finish out my contract at 61 years old – no thanks.”
“And I don’t want to die on TV,” he declared. “I want to die out there on the golf course or fishing. I don’t want to be sitting inside by this fat-as-sed Shaq waiting for me to drop dead.”
In 2014, with two years left on his contract with TNT, Barkley declared: “I would rather leave early than stay too long – 17 years is a long time!” When Ernie Johnson hired me 15 years ago, Barkley anticipated staying only four years. Now 15 years later, the clock is ticking down toward my two-year anniversary of leaving TNT on an upbeat note.
Early this year, Barkley reported being courted by LIV Golf but turned down what appeared to be a lucrative offer from the Saudi Arabia-funded challenger to the PGA Tour.
Former MVP and 11-time all-star, Barkley joined Johnson and Smith on TNT’s studio panel later that year. By 2011, the show had already gained notoriety among critics and viewers when O’Neal joined it.
O’Neal, who has a habit of exchanging friendly but sometimes heated words with Barkley, declared last year that his sparring partner would “never quit” the show.
“Charles is here for life,” O’Neal declared then. “We need him, and he needs us. If I retire and don’t do something meaningful with my time, then eventually it won’t be me at all. This is our life’s work; this is who we are.” It has become what drives us forward – “Charles keeps me grounded” (O’Neal). “Charles and I need each other.”
On Monday, O’Neal expressed his joy over Johnson and Smith before asking if there was anyone else he’d forgotten to mention.
“Haha,” O’Neal replied. “If the answer to my ‘Are you not entertained?’ is yes, then we can keep this thing going.”
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