Charles Barkley announces plans to retire from television next year amid NBA media rights uncertainty


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Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkely announced Friday that he intends to retire from broadcast television at the conclusion of the 2024-2025 NBA season, which will mark the end of his 25 years as an analyst.  

The shocking decision comes amid uncertainty surrounding the NBA’s media landscape. 

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The TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by CarMax broadcasts live before the game on October 24, 2023 at the Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado.  (Jamie Schwaberow/NBAE via Getty Images)

Barkley, 61, made the revelation on NBA TV following Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Friday night. He said that regardless of whether TNT is able to continue broadcasting games beyond next season, he intends to “pass on the baton.” 

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“I’ve been thinking, guys. I want to say this because you guys are my family. I really love TNT, all the people who work here, NBA Television – you guys have been great to me for 24 years. I just want to say thank you to my entire NBA family. I love you guys,” Barkley began.  

“There’s been a lot of noise around our network the last few months. 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 going to be my last year on television.” 

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DALLAS, TEXAS – JUNE 14: Charles Barkley talks with media prior to Game Four of the 2024 NBA Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and the Boston Celtics at American Airlines Center on June 14, 2024 in Dallas, Texas.  (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

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“And I just want to say thank you to my NBA family, you guys have been great to me,” he continued.  “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, but for me personally, I wanted you guys to hear it from me personally because I’m not doing anymore interviews.” 

Barkley has become a fixture on NBA game night. Still, the future of “Inside the NBA” remains unknown, as Warner Bros. Discovery, TNT’s parent company, vies for media rights beyond next season. 

The current deals with ABC-ESPN and Turner Sports expire after next season and the NBA has been talking with NBC, ESPN and Amazon, among other networks and platforms, about what comes next.

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LAS VEGAS, NV – DECEMBER 7: Charles Barkley autographs during the In-Season Tournament game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Los Angeles Lakers on December 7, 2023 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (NBA Photos/NBAE via Getty Images)

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But Barkley’s future won’t be impacted by those decisions. 

“Next year, I’m just going to retire after 25 years and I just wanted to say thank you and I wanted y’all to hear it from me first,” Barkley said, adding that he’ll likely call on TNT’s Vince Carter or Jamal Crawford to take his place.  

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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