Is Charles Barkley retiring? ‘NBA on TNT’ panelist says ‘I don’t want to die on TV’
Charles Barkley won’t be a member of the “NBA on TNT” panel much longer.
During a conference call on Tuesday announcing TNT’s broadcast schedule for All-Star weekend, the Hall of Famer declared he plans to continue working as a broadcaster for two more years. After his current contract with Turner Sports expires, he will “probably” retire.
“It’s been a great, great thing. I love Ernie [Johnson], Kenny [Smith], [Shaquille O’Neal] and everybody we work with,” Barkley said (via the Dallas Morning News’ Brad Townsend). “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.”
In true Chuck fashion, he managed to sneak in a shot at Shaq while discussing his future.
“And I don’t want to die on TV. I want to die on the golf course or somewhere fishing,” Barkley said. “I don’t want to be sitting inside over [by] fat-ass Shaq [waiting] to drop dead.”
Barkley has served as a studio analyst for Turner Sports since 2000. He initially signed a two-year deal with the network, but he quickly became a mainstay of TNT’s NBA coverage.
Barkley turns 59 on Sunday.
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When does Charles Barkley’s contract with TNT end?
Barkley said that his contract runs out in two years, which points to the end of the 2023-24 season. But according to Turner Sports, the deal Barkley signed back in 2015 runs through 2024-25.
While appearing on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” last year, Barkley called joining TNT “the best decision I made in my life.”
“When I took the job, Ernie asked me how long I was gonna be there. And I said, ‘I’m gonna be here, like, three years, and I’m gonna move on to bigger and better things,” Barkley said. “But nothing bigger and better has come along. That’s why I’m stuck there.”
If Barkley does follow through with his plan, TNT may already have his replacement lined up. It has signed Warriors forward Draymond Green as a contributor despite him still being an active player, so he could be Barkley’s successor once his NBA career is over.