Charles Barkley calls TNT leaders ‘clowns’ and suggests his production company could take over ‘Inside The NBA’

Charles Barkley is confused, grumpy and, most of all, angry that TNT is about to lose his rights to the NBA and the ability to do his beloved show “Inside the NBA” with the network.

It was reported Tuesday that the NBA is close to finalizing its new media rights deals with Disney/ESPN, NBC and Amazon, which would leave TNT without NBA games for the first time in more than two decades. Its parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, can reportedly match NBC’s package, but appears unlikely to do so.

It was in that context that Barkley appeared on “The Dan Patrick Show” and spoke about the leadership that is allowing the NBA to walk out the door. He said morale is understandably low at TNT and complained that WBD opted to acquire the rights to college football playoff games:

“Morality sucks, plain and simple. I feel really bad for the people I work with, Dan. These people have families and I really feel bad for them right now. These people I work with clearly screwed this up, and we have no idea what’s going to happen. I don’t feel well. I’m not going to lie, especially when they came out yesterday and said we bought college football. I thought, well, damn, they could have used that money to buy the NBA.”

“Inside the NBA” remains one of the most popular studio shows in all of sports, with Barkley, Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal providing hard-hitting analysis and more laughs than any of its competitors.

Barkley has said in the past that his contract allows him to become a free agent if TNT loses its NBA rights, but he suggested to Patrick that he could step up and take over the entire show through his production company. Once again, he had a chosen word for his boss, plus an esoteric wine analogy:

“I’ve talked to the guys about them all signing with my production company, because I have my own production company and I would love to do it if we lost it. In fact, someone suggested that to me, to be honest with you, on the Internet. Why doesn’t Charles Barkley hire these three guys, four in total, it’s his production company, and he sells it? I say, it’s a great idea. But like I said, we’re just sitting around, waiting for these people to figure out what they’re going to do.

“My two favorite wines are Inglenook and Opus. These clowns I work for have turned us into Ripple and Boone’s Farm and Thunderbird.”

One major problem with that idea is Johnson, as it has been reported that the broadcaster plans to remain on TNT even if it loses the NBA.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 20: Charles Barkley attends the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on November 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 20: Charles Barkley attends the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on November 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Charles Barkley has several issues to resolve with TNT’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Barkley further speculated that Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav angered NBA Commissioner Adam Silver by saying “We don’t have to have the NBA” in 2022. At the very least, it boded poorly with negotiations over media rights approaching and the WBD. looking to reduce costs.

Barkley is very angry at the people who have worked on “Inside the NBA” for years and years:

“I’m angry.) You know, Dan, it’s very interesting. I’ve been spending a lot of time with the team lately. In fact, I was with these guys and spent time with them: they bring their newborns, they bring their children, they come like when they were in high school and now they graduated from college. That’s how long Ernie’s been there 32 years, Kenny’s been there 27, I’ve been there 24, but think about it. Some of these people I work with brought their. newborns to greet us, they were brought to high school when they graduated and now they have graduated from college.

“So, yes, I am angry at people; They’re part of my family, to be honest with you. And I feel bad for those guys.

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