Charles Barkley recently spoke to Sports Illustrated and told them some pretty surprising news. Barkley is apparently getting tired of his broadcasting role with TNT and would like a change of pace. He sounds like he’s seriously considering retiring at the conclusion of his current contract.
“I love my job,” Barkley said. “I love the people I work with. And I’m going to try to do things to keep me engaged. But I have four years left on my current deal and to be honest with you, it’s going to be a struggle for me to make it for the whole four years. I really don’t know how much longer I’m going to do this. I need something more, or something else to do to be honest with you.”
If you were a hall of fame athlete with virtually unlimited means, and an extended career working routine hours for TNT, wouldn’t you want to try something new? Even if we can’t blame Barkley for wanting to see his career evolve into something new, it doesn’t mean he won’t be missed. The man is what makes NBA on TNT work. He’s the man without the filter that keeps us wanting more. But Charles only originally planned on being on-air for a few years, and somehow time got away from him and he woke up with over 13 years under his belt…
“I only thought I would do this for three or four years but now I have been doing it for 13 years,” Barkley said. “When I got to my fifth year of broadcasting I was like ‘OK, I’ll do this a couple of more years.’ But now I’m like, ‘Dude, you have been doing this for 13 years and if I make it to the end of the contract it will be 17 years.’ Seventeen years is a long time. It’s a lifetime in broadcasting. I personally have to figure out the next challenge for me.”
(H/T to Sports Illustrated for the Quotes)