NBA legend Charles Barkley announces retirement from television after 25 years as an analyst

NBA legend Charles Barkley has made a surprising announcement, announcing his decision to retire from television after next season.

The former Philadelphia 76ers star, who has been a beloved analyst on TNT’s “Inside the NBA” since 2000, shared the news after Game 4 of the NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks.

A cordial announcement

Barkley, 61, expressed his gratitude and love for his colleagues and fans during his announcement. “I’ve been thinking about it, guys,” he began, addressing his television family.

“I really love TNT, all the people who work here, NBA television, you guys have been great to me for 24 years. I want to thank my entire NBA family, I love you.”

Thinking about his career

Barkley reflected on the noise surrounding the network in recent months and clarified his commitment to TNT. “I’ve talked to all the other networks, but I’m not going anywhere other than TNT… but I made the decision myself, no matter what, next year will be my last year on television.”

Passing the baton

Barkley signaled his intention to pass the baton to the next generation of analysts, citing names like Jamal Crawford, Vince Carter and Steve Smith as potential successors.

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

An end to interviews

Determined to stay out of the spotlight, Barkley stated that he would not be conducting any further interviews regarding his retirement.

“I don’t do interviews anymore,” he said. “Don’t call everyone, no one calls me, I’m not talking about this anymore.”

A legendary career on and off the field

Barkley’s impact on basketball extends beyond his television career. As a player, he enjoyed a 16-year career with the 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets. In Phoenix, he was voted NBA Most Valuable Player in 1993 and is an eleven-time All-Star.

Inside the NBA: a legacy

Barkley’s tenure on ‘Inside the NBA’ was marked by his dynamic presence alongside co-analysts such as Shaquille O’Neal, Ernie Johnson Jr. and Kenny Smith.

Known for its entertaining and insightful commentary, the show has won 19 Sports Emmys since its inception and is widely considered one of the best sports analysis shows on television.

The end of an era

“Inside the NBA” will end after the 2024-2025 season, when TNT loses its rights to broadcast NBA games. The league is reportedly finalizing deals with ESPN, Amazon and NBC worth a combined $7.4 billion per year.

Caring for colleagues

Barkley expressed concern for his colleagues in light of these changes. He recently shared his fears that up to 200 people could lose their jobs.

“It sucks right now for the people I work with,” he said on Sirius XM. “I feel really bad, man. Because probably 200 people internally will lose their jobs if we lose the NBA.”

A modest exit

Despite hinting in recent weeks that he might want to work for another network, Barkley ultimately decided to retire.

His announcement marks the second major retirement of his life, following his illustrious playing career.

A final word

As Barkley prepares to hang up his microphone, his departure marks the end of an era for “Inside the NBA” and for sports broadcasting.

His heartfelt farewell underlines the deep bonds he has built with his colleagues and fans over the years, leaving a lasting legacy in the world of sports analytics.