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Charles Barkley announces next season will be his last on television

NBA: Finals-Boston Celtics at Dallas Mavericks

Jun 12, 2024; Dallas, Texas, USA; NBA TV analyst Charles Barkley talks on set before game three of the 2024 NBA Finals between the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

With uncertainty hanging over the set of TNT’s “Inside the NBA” as the NBA nears a new broadcast rights deal — one that reportedly may leave Warner Bros. Discovery and TNT outside the NBA — Charles Barkley has been outspoken about how this is not fair to TNT’s behind-the-camera talent.

Now Barkley says his next season on Inside the NBA will be his last on television, no matter what happens with the broadcast rights.

“There’s been a lot of noise around on network the last few months,” Barkley said on NBA TV’s NBA Finals postgame show “And I just want to say, I’ve 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 gonna be my last year on television. And I just want to say thank you to my NBA family. You guys been great to me. My heart is full with joy and gratitude...

“I want to tell my NBA and NBA TV and TNT family that I’m not going to another network, but I’m gonna pass the baton to either Jamal Crawford or Vince Carter, or you Steve (Smith). But next year, I’m gonna just retire after 25 years and I just want to say thank you and I want y’all to hear from me first.”

Barkley would have options. As the most popular studio analyst in the sport, new rights holders — reportedly Amazon and NBC, although nothing is finalized and Warner Bros. Discovery could retain rights — would likely pay top dollar to bring him in. However, Barkley sounds ready to move on.

Speaking to the media before Game 1 of the Finals, Adam Silver said that while he hoped a new broadcast rights deal would come together soon, there is no timeline for completing the “incredibly complex” negotiations. He also addressed the off-camera crew at TNT directly.

“To the folks at Turner Sports, I apologize that this has been a prolonged process, because I know they’re committed to their jobs,” Silver said. “It’s a large part of their identity and their family’s identity, and no one likes this uncertainty. I think it’s on the league office to bring these negotiations to a head and conclude them as quickly as we can.”

When the talks are concluded, and whoever the broadcast partners are at the start of the 2025-26 season, Barkley says he will not be with them, which would be a loss to the league and fans.