The NBA legend has said in the past that his current contract with TNT will be his last and humorously reaffirmed this idea on Tuesday, as shared by The Philadelphia Inquirer.
“I just don’t feel the need to work until the day I die,” Barkley said. “I’ll be 61 years old if I finish out my contract, and I don’t want to die on TV — I want to die on the golf course or somewhere fishing. I don’t want to be sitting beside old [expletive] Shaq and drop dead.”
"It's been a great, great thing. I love Ernie, Kenny, Shaq and everybody we work with. But I just don't feel the need to work until the day I die. I don't, man. I'll be 61 years old if I finish out my contract.
— Brad Townsend (@townbrad) February 15, 2022
So Long, Charles?
Barkley’s current contract supposedly runs out in two years, at the end of the 2023-24 NBA season.
If he does decide this really is his last go-around with the network, he will leave a major hole in the “Inside The NBA” lineup.
But that doesn’t mean TNT won’t have many options when it comes to replacing him.
“Inside The NBA” has become one of the most popular and successful shows on TV.
It is now perhaps the most popular sports show on all of TV and consistently brings in high ratings and creates viral moments.
It is also expanding its roster: the network recently signed Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green to the show.
Green will appear when his NBA schedule allows.
So if Barkley really does step down from the show, he will surely be replaced by yet another NBA personality that viewers are very familiar with.
But it’s unlikely that anyone will have the sort of personality, humor, and chemistry with the crew that Barkley does.
It goes without saying that Barkley would leave awfully big shoes to fill.