Charles Barkley Announces Retirement From Broadcasting

Wim De Gent
By Wim De Gent
June 15, 2024Sports News
Charles Barkley Announces Retirement From Broadcasting
Charles Barkley attends the Warner Bros. Discovery Upfront 2024 in New York on May 15, 2024. (Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Discovery)

Charles Barkley said next season will be his last on TV.

Mr. Barkley made the announcement after the Dallas Mavericks’ Game 4 victory over the Boston Celtics on Friday, saying will he be retiring after the 2024–2025 NBA season.

“I have made the decision myself: No matter what happens, next year is going to be my last year on television,” Mr. Barkley said on NBATV.

Mr. Barkley has become an iconic studio analyst at Turner Network Television (TNT) over the last 24 years, however, insecurities about future NBA broadcasts at the network have led to Friday’s decision.

TNT owner Warner Bros Discovery’s (WBD) current media rights deal with the NBA expires after next season, but it is unlikely that the contract will be renewed, as NBC and Amazon are rumored to have outbid TNT, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“There’s been a lot of noise around our network the last few months,” Mr. Barkley said. “I just want to say, I talked to all the other networks, but I ain’t going nowhere other than TNT.”

The Hall of Famer thanked the league and his “Inside the NBA” crew.

“I just want to say thank you to my NBA family. You guys have been great to me, my heart is full with joy and gratitude, but I’m going to pass the baton at the end of next year,” he said.

“I hope the NBA stays with TNT … I’m not going to another network, but I’m going to pass the baton to Jamal Crawford or Vince Carter or you, Steve [Smith], but next year, I’m just going to retire after 25 years.”

The decision comes as no surprise, as the former Philadelphia 76er in May criticized WBD’s decision to shift their focus to cheaper contracts, such as college football, and the 200 lay-offs associated with losing the NBA contract.

“It just sucks right now for the people I work with,” Mr. Barkley told NBA Radio. “I’m worried about all the people I work with. I just turned 61. I’ve got enough money.”

During the interview, he indicated that he wasn’t shy about leaving the network if the NBA deal should fall through.

“I don’t even look at it as getting fired. I look at it like … I get to play more golf?!’” he said, adding that he knew the show’s lead anchor Ernie Johnson would never leave for another network.

“Ernie’s almost 70 years old. He’s going to retire sooner than later. I don’t think he would go to another network.”

Mr. Barkley retired from the NBA in 2000 after 16 seasons, playing for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, and Houston Rockets. The 11-time NBA All-Star also won two Olympic gold medals and won the MVP award in 1993.