Charles Barkley laughing on Inside the NBA Photo credit: Inside the NBA

We’ve lost count of what round this is between Charles Barkley and Skip Bayless, but Chuck took another shot at the polarizing Fox Sports host Thursday night.

On Wednesday, it was reported Shannon Sharpe and Fox Sports reached a buyout agreement to make Bayless’s FS1 sparring partner a free agent after the NBA Finals. Perhaps sour over the fact that his summer vacation was delayed by having to be in Denver to cover the NBA Finals for NBA TV, Barkley seemed enticed by the prospect of a buyout. While attempting to build a case for a buyout from his reported $200 million contract, Barkley simultaneously gave Bleacher Report a pop and took a shot at Bayless.

“I don’t do social media, so I get all my information off Bleacher Report. I read an article today. If you work with a damn idiot, they’ll buy you out,” Barkley said as he glanced around the room to make sure everyone caught the not-so-subtle joke. “I’m saying, I read it.”

“Chuck. Chuck. Stop,” Shaq said while laughing in the background.

“Shaq, it’s not you,” Barkley insisted, also adding that it’s also not his NBA TV co-hosts Matt Winer or Grant Hill. “It’s not Ernie [Johnson]. It’s Kenny [Smith]! But apparently, if you work with a damn idiot they’ll buy you out. So, I just want you to know, I’m open to the buyout. I didn’t know it was that easy.”

But it wasn’t Kenny Smith either. Despite attempting to hide behind Smith, Barkley was clearly referring to Skip Bayless when he said “damn idiot.”

Barkley has used Bayless as a punching bag for decades, stating he’d like to “kill” him during multiple interviews over the years. And when several on-air blowups appeared to signal the relationship between Bayless and Sharpe was fractured earlier this year, Barkley was again quick to mock the FS1 co-hosts. Recently, Bayless vowed to punch back at all of Barkley’s taunts and insults so it will be interesting to see if he lets this one slide.

Bayless and Sharpe have not publicly addressed reports of their pending divorce, although the latter’s likes on Twitter certainly imply that he’s eager to move on from his debate partner of nearly eight years.


About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to