Charles Barkley recently told SI.com that his broadcaster career may be coming to an end in the near future.
This is surprising since Barkley has always been quite popular amongst his NBA viewers. He's jovial, witty, and seems to enjoy himself on air. In the interview with SI.com, Barkley stated that he "loves his job" and "the people he works with" which makes it even more surprising as to why he'd hang up the mic so early. And yet, Barkley says he may not make it through the end of his current contract, which runs for four more years:
"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."
"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."
It would really suck to not have Barkley on the airwaves, as he is a fixture on Inside the NBA and one of the most indispensable personalities in sports. Perhaps he just needs a little break away from TNT to re-energize, or perhaps a new assignment to mix things up going forward.
Turner execs have stood by him through various controversies including when he got arrested for a DUI back in 2008
. Barkley is also allowed more freedom than arguably any other broadcaster in sports. He can more or less just be himself on the air, which is what I think most people love about him as a broadcaster. He routinely touches on topics that normally wouldn't fly anywhere else.
But really, the sports world would be a much less entertaining place
without Barkley on the airwaves and in our homes
, so let's hope he has a change of heart and reconsiders; and keeps going strong for many years to come.