Charles Barkley Declares That Following the 2024–25 Season, he Will Step Away From Broadcasting

Following Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday, longtime TNT broadcaster Charles Barkley made a startling announcement: he will step down from broadcasting following the 2024–25 NBA season.

With little notice and a great deal of passion, Barkley announced his decision. He said he had considered leaving TNT for other networks because Warner Bros. Discovery is expected to lose its NBA rights after next year, but that he had finally decided he was ready to hand up the mike after one final season.

Barkley Provided An Explanation

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

“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. 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.”

With the network on the verge of losing its NBA package to NBC, next season was always expected to be the end of an era at TNT. The network may still attempt to match NBC’s offer or work out a lesser agreement with the league, although WBD CEO David Zaslav has hinted that TNT may look to seek less expensive partnerships in other sports, such college football and tennis.

Barkley has expressed his dissatisfaction with the entire process by calling the executives of his firm “clowns” and criticizing the implications of the shift for his “Inside the NBA” program. According to reports, he had the option to leave his contract with TNT if the network lost its NBA rights. He has even hinted that his production business would take over “Inside the NBA.”

Rather than play for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, or Houston Rockets, he will retire, capping a broadcasting career that has garnered him equal if not greater admirers.

One Exists Alone. Barkley Charles

Barkley began his tenure at TNT in 2000, the year he announced his retirement from professional sports. In addition to winning four Sports Emmys, he had numerous appearances outside of broadcasting, most notably with his disastrous “King Charles” show on CNN co-hosting with Gayle King.

Barkley is a singular personality in the ever-changing sports media environment. His most well-known quality is his direct honesty. A player will claim to have played poorly if he did. When a coach makes a decision that he disagrees with, he says so. He says anything when something that’s going on bothers him. The truth is not massaged, and no effort is made to appease egos.

Barkley’s candor occasionally landed him in hot water, but more often than not it elevated him to one of the funniest television personalities, especially when combined with his rapport with “Inside the NBA” co-hosts Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, and Shaquille O’Neal. The quartet was adored because they frequently gave off the impression that you were just witnessing four intelligent buddies cracking jokes about basketball (and each other).

Barkley stated that although he wishes to transmit the torch, no one could possibly do what he does for television. There is only one Charles Barkley, but there might be someone out there who can attract the same number of viewers in a different manner.

Positively, he will soon have more time to work on honing his golf technique.