Charles Barkley’s first ever TNT guest spot alongside Ernie Johnson recently resurfaced. The clip shows the then-76ers star discussing his future as well as the 1992 Finals.
Inside the NBA is one of the most popular and beloved sports studio shows on television. The seventeen-time Sports Emmy award-winning shows features Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal discuss the latest goings on in the NBA.
Charles Barkley joined TNT in 2000 shortly after retiring from basketball. Chuck became notorious for his bold, and often controversial, statements on air, and has always spoken his mind no matter how delicate the subject matter.
However, Barkley has been a fan-favourite for decades, with viewers often praising his no-nonsense style of punditry as well as his sense of humor. Popular recurring segments such as ‘Who He Play For?’, where Barkley is challenged to name random NBA journeyman and the teams they play for, continue to demonstrate his natural flair for entertaining.
Charles Barkley’s first ever TNT appearance with Ernie Johnson resurfaces
Charles has been in the media so long it’s easy to forget he was once one of the best basketball players in the world. Barkley played 16 seasons in the NBA, where he was an 11-time All-Star, and an 11-time member of the All-NBA Team. He was also the 1993 NBA Most Valuable Player and was part of the Dream Team that won the gold medal at the 1992 Olympics.
However, it wasn’t always plain sailing during his career. His time in Philadelphia soured towards the end, with the 76ers failing to make the postseason in 1992 with a 35–47 regular season record.
During the playoffs that season, Charles was on the outside looking in, and joined Ernie Johnson in the TNT studios for his first ever on-air guest spots.
A noticeably more soft-spoken Charles discussed a number of topics including his future with the 76ers (a month later he was trades to the Phoenix Suns), as well as Michael Jordan’s response to Chuck picking the Blazers over the Bulls in the Finals.
Footage recently resurfaced of Charles Barkley’s TNT debut and you can check it out below:
Fans are loving the resurfaced clip
The footage went viral on Reddit after being posted by Supersonics u/WhenMachinesCry.
‘This is an incredible clip. 30 years ago!!! Makes you realize these guys really will be off the air soon. Ill miss them. Incredible rapport from day 1,’ one person commented.
Another added: ‘I did a double take looking at Ernie. Also pretty hilarious to see their dynamic here vs. any episode of Inside the NBA.’
‘This is a great find. It’s funny knowing that they later would he working together on the best sports show on TV,’ a third added.
Barkley’s TNT future is in some doubt
Charles Barkley has long maintained that he doesn’t want to work on the Inside the NBA until old age. He has repeatedly said that his TNT contract runs out in two years, which would be at the end of the 2023-24 season, and that he doesn’t plan to work after 60 (he’s currently 59-years-old).
And now it appears Sir Charles is flirting with the idea of joining the controversial Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf league. Barkley is playing in the league’s New Jersey Pro-Am this week, and has already met with LIV Golf chief Greg Norman to discuss the possibility of joining a broadcast crew.
Barkley recently appeared on The Dan Patrick Show to discuss what it would take him for to join LIV Golf.
Speaking about the vast sums of money LIV has offered former PGA Tour players to defect, Barkley said: “If they offer me something crazy, I’m gonna take it too.”
Charles then went on to admit that if they tripled his TNT salary, he’d have a hard time saying no:
However, he said the deadline for his decision was this Thursday (28 July).
“I’m gonna give him [Greg Norman] a deadline,” Barkley said. “The deadline’s gonna be Thursday. … I’m not gonna keep TNT in limbo, to be honest with you. I don’t think it’s fair to them. …”
It remains to be seen what Charles decides to do. However, it will be a sad day when he does eventually call time on his Inside the NBA career.
Do you think Charles will stay? Would he be a success covering LIV Golf? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!