Over the past decade, no network on TV has been able to put together another crew like the NBA on TNT bunch. I don't just mean in terms of basketball panels, by the way – nobody in all of sports has been able to replicate the sort of chemistry that is on display whenever those guys do what they do.
According to an interview he recently gave to Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, though, one key piece of that team, Charles Barkley, may be considering calling it quits. While he admittedly didn’t cite a specific end time, Barkley did make it sound like it would happen sooner rather than later.
"I love my job," Barkley said. "I love the people I work with. And I'm going to try to do things to keep me engaged. But I have four years left on my current deal and to be honest with you, it's going to be a struggle for me to make it for the whole four years. I really don't know how much longer I'm going to do this. I need something more, or something else to do to be honest with you."
Part of the reason that Barkley is apparently growing wary of his current job is because of the sheer amount of years he has been doing it for. Which is understandable. Being a part of any program for as long as Barkley has has must be tiresome; being a part of the best program of its kind for over a decade must be completely exhausting.
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"When I got to my fifth year of broadcasting I was like 'OK, I'll do this a couple of more years.' But now I'm like, 'Dude, you have been doing this for 13 years and if I make it to the end of the contract it will be 17 years.' Seventeen years is a long time. It's a lifetime in broadcasting. I personally have to figure out the next challenge for me."
So, what does this mean? Does it mean that Barkley’s departure is actually imminent? No, of course not. He could change his mind tomorrow. But it does indicate that he might leave. That there is at least a chance. Which is bad news for any and all legit hoops fans out there, for obvious resaons. (It means Shaq would get more screen time.)
(Kudos Sports Illustrated)