Charles Barkley will indeed remain a key member of the TNT network for the next 10 years thanks to his new contract. According to the New York Post, the NBA Hall-of-Famer worked out a deal that earns him well over the $100 million mark. In fact, the publication suggests Barkley might end up raking in twice that amount by the end of this arrangement.
News of the contract comes around the same time it was announced that TNT also completed contract extension deals with Barkley’s Inside The NBA cohosts Ernie Johnson, Kenny “The Jet” Smith, and Shaquille O’Neal.
“We’re all a big family — Ernie, Kenny, and Shaquille are brothers to me — and I wouldn’t still be here if it wasn’t for them and all the amazing people who work on our show,” Barkley said in a press statement. “I’m not gonna lie, though, this is a life-altering deal … and I’m blessed to be able to do live television for a living.”
Inside The NBA has won 17 Emmy Awards during its 33-year run, and Lenny Daniels, President of Warner Bros. Discovery Sports US, spoke with excitement about the men’s return. “We’re incredibly proud of Inside the NBA and all it has achieved throughout its storied history — helping to define and share in the culture of the NBA and its fans — and so much of that success can be attributed to the chemistry between Ernie, Charles, Kenny and Shaquille,” he said.
This summer, there were rumors that Barkley was possibly leaving Turner Sports and WarnerMedia altogether in favor of a $200 million contract from LIV Golf. So Barkley appeared on The Dan Patrick Show in July and discussed a meeting he had with LIV Golf CEO and golf icon Greg Norman.
“[Greg] asked me [if I was] interested. I said, ‘Of course. I’m here. I wouldn’t have dinner with you if I wasn’t interested.’ I’m waiting for them to make me an offer. That’s all I know,” Barkley said. “But if those dudes [at LIV Golf] threw something crazy at me, I have to listen. And listen, I’m not going to get on here and say, ‘It’s not about the money.’ Of course it’s about the money.”
However, WBD chief content officer Kathleen Finch told The Hollywood Reporter last week that she’d “had lunch with Charles — who is just a lovely man” and that it was “really fun to sit down with him and celebrate his new contract, because he is such a fabulous part of that team and he is just such a really special guy.”
Finch later walked back her enthusiasm a bit, offering the following statement about her convo with Barkley: “I jumped the gun in The Hollywood Reporter story and was premature with what was shared regarding his new contract. I committed a flagrant 2 foul with this one, but we’re all excited for the future possibilities with Charles as part of WarnerBros. Discovery.”
Nevertheless, it looks like the negotiations between Sir Charles, his Inside The NBA castmates, and WBD ended in a win-win for everybody.
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