‘They’re Not Gonna Work Me Like A Dog’| Charles Barkley Says He Won’t Work For ESPN After TNT’s NBA Contract Ends After Next Season

Basketball Hall of Famer turned NBA basketball analyst Charles Barkley has never been one to mince his words. No matter the subject of topic may be, one thing you can count on is unfiltered and unapologetic opinion from the man formerly known as “Sir Charles” or “The Round Mound of Rebound.” Barkley is one-fourth of the hit NBA show “Inside The NBA” on TNT that after next season likely will no longer be. 

With Warner Brothers Discovery, which owns TNT, reportedly losing the rights to the NBA package after next season, that means it will very likely be the last time we see Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson on Thursday nights during the NBA season. While it would be bittersweet to see them go, it’s been a great run, and while no one knows what’s next, Barkley let it be known what isn’t next for him. The 1993 NBA MVP is adamant that he won’t even entertain a move to a certain network because, in his words, they work too hard. 

ESPN Ain’t Happening For Barkley 

During a recent appearance on ESPN Cleveland’s “The Really Big Show,” Barkley let it be known that working for ESPN isn’t in his future. He also said that he did his contract so he’d be a free agent and free to sign on to work wherever he chooses with no issues. 

“I covered my a—, to be honest with you. I just signed a 10-year deal two years ago, but one of the things I did was put an opt-out in a couple years because I wanted to cover my ass when it comes to the situation.”

“I said to WBD during this last negotiations, if you guys lose the NBA I wanna make sure I can get out of here.” 

But that doesn’t mean he’s looking to go to ESPN. In fact, he’s adamant about not doing so. 

“They’re not gonna work me like a dog,” Barkley said. “ESPN Radio, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes. I mean HELL NO! As much as I love ESPN, I just turned 61. The notion that I’m going to be working like a dog into my mid-60s, that’s definitely not going to happen.”

Barkley Could Take Crew To His Own Production Company

If TNT does in fact lose the NBA following next season, Barkley, a savvy businessman, says he’d love to sign the crew to his production company. During an appearance on “The Dan Patrick Show,” Barkley called out his bosses at WBD/TNT for paying to have college football games instead of doing everything in its power to keep the NBA. He also mentioned he could take the other three to his company. 

That would be something if the crew all shifted to his company and began its own show covering the NBA like the one they currently have.

With their popularity it would immediately rival anything on NBC, Apple and Amazon. While it’s also highly unlikely to happen, hearing Barkley say that really makes you wonder what the big networks would do of it did happen. 

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