Dan Le Batard says outside of Howard Cosell, Charles Barkley is greatest broadcaster in sports history Credit: Pablo Torre Finds Out

If Warner Bros. Discovery fails to maintain its hold on the NBA’s media rights, Charles Barkley will become a free agent.

Now, Meadowlark Media’s Dan Le Batard recently stated the obvious: If Barkley leaves, it would effectively spell the end of Inside the NBA as we know it. And while a theoretical version of Inside the NBA could potentially exist on another platform, it wouldn’t be the same without Ernie Johnson, who is reportedly staying put at TNT Sports regardless of the outcome.

But Barkley’s value as a broadcaster is unique, and Le Batard recently offered a glowing assessment of the TNT Sports analyst on Pablo Torre Finds Out that will likely raise some eyebrows.

“It’s a Charles Barkley story because I think we can reasonably argue that outside of Howard Cosell, Charles Barkley has been the greatest broadcaster in the history of all of sports,” said Le Batard. “Most award-winning, several decades of success doing what Draymond Green is trying to do in a way that will never be replicated. I was told by him, again and again at every turn, that he would retiring at 60.

“They made it impossible to retire at 60, and now he has a 10-year contract clause in which there are outs that allows him to get out if — and it looks like this might happen — if he’s no longer working for the group of people that he presently works for at TNT. If all of the streaming rights end up changing, so that your broadcast experience with the NBA has Charles Barkley working for people other than the people that he presently works for…

“He will never be replicated as a broadcaster. I’ve never seen anyone exist in the space that he does where he’s both controversial and likable and perpetually trending, and I will say again — and likable. It’s a charisma unlike anything I’ve seen in the history of sports media.”

[Pablo Torre Finds Out on X]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.