Charles Barkley ranting about Congress on Inside the NBA

Charles Barkley has made a lot of polarizing comments on Inside the NBA, but the opinion he shared of cats Sunday night may have been his hottest take yet.

Sunday night, in what has become a staple segment on Inside the NBA, Ernie Johnson embarrassed Kenny Smith in a race to the video board during the halftime report on TNT. A viewer attempted to describe Smith’s disdain over the loss with a cat meme, prompting Barkley to drop some harsh words about the feline community.

“A cat is not a real pet,” Barkley deadpanned. “Stop it.”

“Why not?” Smith asked.

“Because it’s not a dog,” Barkley surmised.

After Inside the NBA returned from a commercial break, Barkley further addressed his cat opinion, recognizing the potential firestorm he just created by claiming cats shouldn’t be able to identify as a real pet.

“I don’t dislike cats. I just don’t think they’re real pets,” Barkley continued. “A dog is a real pet. Just stop it.”

With Barkley refusing to let up on his newly introduced hot take, Smith asked him to categorize cats if they can’t be considered pets.

“Just something,” Barkley said insightfully. “Like, old women have ‘em.”

I share Barkley’s affinity for dogs, but still recognize cats can be pets too, along with a cast of other domesticated animals. But the wide range of Inside the NBA is what makes Shaq, Ernie Johnson, Smith and Barkley arguably the most popular studio show in sports. And Barkley not sticking to sports with takes like his opinion on pet identity, is why people are already intrigued about his new prime-time show on CNN with Gayle King, set to launch next fall.

[Inside the NBA]

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