Charles Barkley RETIRES! NBA icon makes stunning announcement that he is leaving TV after 24 years as TNT analyst

NBA legend Charles Barkley has made the shock decision to retire from television, revealing that next season will be his 25th and final year as an analyst.

The former Philadelphia 76ers star, 61, has been an on-screen TV personality on Inside the NBA since 2000, and his news comes alongside the controversial decision to axe the show from the end of next season.

Speaking after the NBA Finals Game 4 between the Celtic and Mavericks, Barkley said: ‘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 want to say thank you to my entire NBA family, I love you guys. There’s been a lot of noise around our network the last few months.

‘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.

Charles Barkley appeared on NBA TV to announce he is retiring from television next year

‘My heart is full of 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 to hear it from me.’

Barkley then went on to insist he will do no further interviews on the matter, seemingly keen to stay out of the spotlight.

‘I’m not doing any more interviews,’ he said. ‘Don’t y’all be calling, nobody call me, I’m not talking about this again. But I wanted to tell my NBA TV and TNT family that I’m not going to another network.

‘But I’m going to pass the baton to either Jamal Crawford or Vince Carter, or you Steve [Smith]. Next year I’m just going to retire after 25 years and I just wanted to say thank you, and I wanted you to hear it from me first.’

Barkley will go down as one of the greatest basketball analysts of all-time, most famous for his work alongside Shaquille O’Neal for the past 13 years.

‘Chuck’, as he has become known, is one of a long-time panel on Inside the NBA that includes host Ernie Johnson Jr. (since 1990) and Kenny Smith (since 1998).

Barkley joined in 2000, and sat alongside Magic Johnson from 2003 to 2007, and then Reggie Miller from 2008 to 2011, when O’Neal then joined.

The show has won 19 Sports Emmys since its inception, and is widely regarded as one of the best sports analysis shows on TV. 

Inside the NBA is soon to be no more, though, with the show slated to end after the 2024-25 season, when TNT loses rights to show the NBA.

Instead, the league is reportedly closing in on deals with ESPN, Amazon and NBC for a combined $7.4billion per year.

Barkley recent shared his fears that up to 200 people could lose their jobs. 

‘It sucks right now, for the people I work with,’ Barkley said on Sirius XM. ‘There’s nothing I can say. I am worried about the people I work with.

‘I feel rally feel bad, man. Because 200 people are probably going to lose their jobs internally if we lose the NBA.’ 

In recent weeks, Barkley had hinted that he would be open to working for another network, and admitted on Friday that he had spoken to rivals, before ultimately deciding to hang up his microphone.

It is, of course, the second retirement of Barkley’s illustrious life, after he enjoyed a 16-year playing career with the 76ers, Suns and Rockets.

In Phoenix, he was voted the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 1993, and he is an 11-time All-Star.