Charles Barkley Photo Credit: ESPN Charles Barkley joined ESPN’s Stanley Cup Final pregame coverage Monday night.

There’s been plenty of speculation about Charles Barkley’s future broadcasting home if TNT loses NBA broadcasting rights.

There’s also likely been some recruiting going on behind the scenes with major media players making inquiries about the popular longtime Inside the NBA analyst.

ESPN’s Steve Levy did that on the air Monday night, during ESPN on ABC’s coverage of the Stanley Cup Final. Barkley appeared as a guest on the broadcast, and show host Levy gave him a grand introduction.

“Steve Levy, Mark Messier, P.K. Subban, and the newest member of ESPN’s NBA coverage?” Levy asked, looking at Barkley.

Barkley didn’t acknowledge the playful introduction, instead immediately launching into a wild story about how Messier owes him $5,000 for a long-ago incident involving the two.

If Warner Bros. Discovery and TNT do end up losing NBA rights and Barkley becomes a coveted free agent in 2025, ESPN will be among his suitors, along with Amazon and NBC.

Barkley addressed the ESPN speculation recently on the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast with host Jimmy Traina

“They’re not gonna work me like a dog,” Barkley said. “ESPN Radio, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes. I mean, HELL NO! As much as I love ESPN, I just turned 61. The notion that I’m going to be working like a dog into my mid-60s, that’s definitely not going to happen.”

Despite Levy’s lighthearted introduction Monday night, Barkley’s future broadcasting home is still uncertain.

[Awful Announcing on X]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.