Charles Barkley Says He Will Retire From TNT After 2024-25 Season

By Chanak Maduranga

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Charles Barkley Says He Will Retire From TNT After 2024-25 Season
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Charles Barkley revealed on Friday that he would be retiring from his duties as a longtime TV broadcaster following the 2024-25 season.

The NBA legend has served as a studio host for TNT‘s Inside the NBA since 2000. His announcement also came amid Warner Bros. Discovery’s uncertainty regarding its media rights to the NBA next year, talks in which Barkley himself has played a starring role.

“There’s been a lot of noise around our network the last few months,” Barkley said after Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday night. “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.”

He continued, “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.”

While WBD continues to talk to the NBA about retaining its media rights deal, the league, however, appears poised to give packages to Disney, NBC and Amazon. Though WBD has some “matching” rights, CEO David Zaslav said last month that the network has also been trying to boost the sports lineup on its channels with other leagues.

Barkley has long been outspoken, unafraid to say whatever he was truly thinking. It’s a gift that makes him must-watch TV, and a big reason why he was coveted by the NBA’s other potential partners.

He has also previously expressed his frustrations with the whole ordeal, even publicity criticizing his corporate bosses at WBD.

“These people I work with, they’ve screwed this thing up clearly,” he said on The Dan Patrick Show in May. “And we don’t have zero idea what’s going to happen. I don’t feel good. I’m not gonna lie, especially when they came out yesterday and said we bought college football. I was like, well damn, they could have used that money to buy the NBA.”

TNT Sports recently announced a deal with ESPN to sublicense some college football playoff games.

“We’ve never had college football, never been involved with college football,” Barkley added. “And I’m like, wait a minute. Shouldn’t we be spending every dime we’ve got to keep the NBA? So morale sucks, to be honest with you.”

At the time, Barkley also suggested his own production company could take over Inside the NBA, should TNT Sports lose NBA rights.

But his announcement late Friday suggested that next year will instead be his last on TV, and that he will not be joining any of the other NBA TV partners.

Of course, the one thing about Barkley is that he is famously unpredictable (he threatened to leave TNT Sports for LIV Golf a couple years ago). And with another year of Inside the NBA to go, perhaps he is persuaded to change his mind.

–Alex Weprin contributed to this report.

Chanak Maduranga

passionate journalist behind 'USA News Now 24', dedicated to delivering timely and accurate updates on US affairs. Committed to journalistic integrity and informing audiences with credible news coverage.

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