Charles Barkley injects humor into the uncertain future of "Inside the NBA" by joking they're all applying for new jobs. Screengrab: ‘Inside the NBA’

Perhaps one of the best parts of Inside the NBA is Charles Barkley being — well, Charles Barkley.

As the future of the Inside the NBA remains heavily in doubt, Barkley has taken the liberty of being quite candid. It’s who he’s always been, but taking aim at his bosses for bungling the NBA rights and, in turn, likely dismantling one of the best studio shows in sports is a new one.

While Barkley has hinted at taking Inside the NBA under the umbrella of his own production company, Fine Line Productions, he did have quite the quip about his and his colleague’s future on Friday.

As the NBA on TNT did its usual ‘Gone Fishing’ segment, Ernie Johnson acknowledged that Inside the NBA is a little behind. They played catch-up, as the Oklahoma City Thunder, Denver Nuggets, and New York Knicks have all “gone fishing” with their respective seasons over.

“We’ve been busy, Kenny,” Barkley told Kenny ‘The Jet’ Smith. “We’ve been filling out job applications.”

By the time Barkley uttered those comments, the production had already changed to the Thunder, Kenny Smith and Garth Brooks all “gone fishing,” but not before you could hear some audible laughs from the rest of the Inside the NBA crew.

Barkley’s comedic timing was perfect, as Johnson hesitated to let the laughs pass before heading to the universally beloved segment.

Obviously, Barkley isn’t filling out job applications, but that doesn’t mean some of the behind-the-scenes crew at Inside the NBA and TNT aren’t. Awful Announcing’s Ben Axelrod handicapped what could be Barkley’s next landing spot if TNT loses the NBA, with Amazon, ESPN and NBC among intriguing options.

Given his resume and his sheer likability across all NBA platforms, we wouldn’t imagine that Sir Charles would ever have to fill out a job application again. But knowing who Barkley is, when has that ever stopped him from getting off jokes before?

He just recently quipped that he’d be on LinkedIn, so what’s another joke or two about his future in flux?

Barkley has mentioned just how low morale is because of the unknown if Warner Bros. Discovery was ultimately to lose NBA rights. But as he often does, he’s turned to humor as a coping mechanism. And while there’s nothing funny about dozens and dozens of folks being out of jobs, somehow Barkley — as only he could — turned some misfortunes into laughs.

And whether you love him or hate him, that’s what makes Barkley who he is and why Inside the NBA has kept spinning amongst the chaos.

[Inside the NBA]

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.