A career total of 23,757 points. Add 12,456 rebounds. With 4,215 assists. And 11 All-Star selections. It is safe to say Charles Barkley has the numbers to back his being named a member of the National Basketball Association’s 75th Anniversary Team.
Following his 16-year professional career, during which he suited up for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, and Houston Rockets, Barkley joined the NBA on TNT upon his retirement in 2000 as an analyst on its award-winning studio show Inside the NBA. 21 years later, Barkley, 59, intends to finish out the remaining two years on his contract with Turner Sports and subsequently retire from working in television.
Barkley has provided basketball fans an innumerable amount of memorable moments, whether it be on the court or in the studio alongside host Ernie Johnson and co-analysts Kenny “The Jet” Smith and Shaquille O’Neal. At this stage in his life, though, Barkley wants to focus on being there for his family, which will soon welcome a new grandchild, along with enjoying his lifestyle, which includes playing golf and traveling the world.
With the recent addition of Golden State Warriors power forward Draymond Green to the pool of NBA on TNT analysts, along with the existence presences of Candace Parker and Dwyane Wade, Barkley’s replacement could very well come from in-house. As he explained Friday on 850 ESPN Cleveland’s morning drive program The Really Big Show, Barkley is ready for the transition and eager to see what lies ahead in his life.
“Once you’re a grandparent, you are officially old, so I’m excited about that [and my grandchild’s birth is] going to be the greatest day of my life,” said Barkley.
“I’m smart enough to know that I’m on the ‘back nine’ of life. I want to enjoy – whenever the big fella comes get me; I’m not worried about death, I don’t think about death, but I’m smart enough to know if I’m 60 years old, I’m closer to death than I am to the front line.”
Barkley is currently in Cleveland for the NBA All-Star Weekend festitivies and looking forward to seeing old friends and NBA legends, along with current NBA players named to the 75th anniversary team such as Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and LeBron James.
During the game, which is set to begin Sunday at 8 p.m. EST, Turner Sports will present an alternate viewing experience broadcast on TBS called Inside the All-Star Game. It will feature Barkley and the rest of the Inside the NBA crew talking about the game, interacting with fans and players and, of course, the Sports Emmy award-winning crew bantering throughout the night.
One thing Barkley will not be doing, however, is trying to dunk a basketball – so don’t expect to see that if you tune in.
“The only dunking [for me] is going down at Dunkin Donuts,” said Barkley. “I would be afraid to try to explode and dunk right now because I know – ankles, knees – something would break. I would be afraid to try to explode on my old legs and dunk a basketball.”
Aside from his role on television, Barkley wants to genuinely enjoy this weekend in Cleveland as society attempts to return to some form of pre-pandemic normalcy. Part of that will be through attending NBA All-Star Weekend parties ahead of the showdown between Team LeBron and Team Kevin Sunday night.
“All the great players have a party, and trying to get in the different parties is the funnest part,” said Barkley. “I know LeBron’s guys had a party last night. We couldn’t go to it because we were on the air, [but] I expect a bunch of guys will be having parties tonight.”
Barkley has been on a weight-loss program, dropping 50 pounds by eating one meal a day between 5 and 8 p.m., and has started playing golf every day for the first time in 25 years. Additionally, his wardrobe has consisted of brighter colors as of late, a change from the “all-black closet” he had when his weight would fluctuate. In short, Barkley is “starting to feel like a human being,” and hopes to live life to the fullest, especially once his television contract expires.
“I just want to enjoy the backside of my life; being a grandpa, traveling the world,” said Barkley. “I’m going to work out these last two years on my deal and thank the NBA for everything they’ve given me; TNT and Nike and everybody, and just enjoy the back nine of life.”
Derek Futterman is a contributing editor and sports media reporter for Barrett Sports Media. Additionally, he has worked in a broad array of roles in multimedia production – including on live game broadcasts and audiovisual platforms – and in digital content development and management. He previously interned for Paramount within Showtime Networks, wrote for the Long Island Herald and served as lead sports producer at NY2C. To get in touch, find him on Twitter @derekfutterman.
Cowboys Radio Voice Brad Sham on the Mend After Missing Thursday Night Football Due to Medical Scare
Sham said he suffered a medical event while traveling to the game Thursday. Kyle Youmans called the game in his stead.
The Dallas Cowboys picked up a win over the Seattle Seahawks last Thursday, but regular radio play-by-play announcer Brad Sham was noticeably absent from the call.
That’s because Sham suffered a medical issue.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported that Sham was on his way to AT&T Stadium in Arlington Thursday afternoon when he started experiencing problems.
“Fell ill on my way to the game,” Sham said. “Feel okay but getting a couple things checked out. Really appreciate everyone’s concern.”
Kyle Youmans filled in for Sham on Thursday Night Football. Brad has been the voice of the Cowboys since 1976.
Dallas plays host to the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night. Sham hasn’t been ruled out to return to the booth for the highly anticipated matchup.
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.
KNBR’s Brian Murphy Speaks for First Time After Paul McCaffrey Laid Off
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’.”
Earlier this week, KNBR underwent a round of layoffs, affecting a pair of programs on the Bay Area sports station, including the departure of longtime morning host Paul McCaffrey. His longtime partner — Brian Murphy — has taken to X to share his thoughts.
In a thread to X, Murphy shared his admiration for McCaffrey, whom he hosted Murph and Mac with for 18 years.
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’,” wrote Murphy. “So much love.”
He then shared that everything listeners and fans of the program have shared on social media has been read by the duo, and thanked them for the outpouring of love and support.
Finally, Murphy addressed his future. Fill-in host Dieter Kurtenbach shared on Thursday he did not have a definitive answer about Murphy’s future with the Cumulus-owned station.
However, Brian Murphy has shared he will return to the airwaves on Monday morning.
“I’ll be back Monday morning on KNBR with our guy Markus (Waterboy) Boucher,” Murphy wrote. “Come on. It’s Niners-Eagles. Wouldn’t miss it. As Paulie Mac’s board itself would say: The show goes on.”
Mike Mulligan: Sports Radio is More Difficult Than Other Formats Think
He shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
On Friday morning’s edition of Mully & Haugh on 670 The Score in Chicago, co-host Mike Mulligan outlined the difference with music radio that hosts are not continuously talking to the audience, instead taking mic breaks and then interspersing commentary with different songs.
Filling in for David Haugh on Friday’s edition of the program was Gabe Ramirez, who used to work in the format with B96 as the host of its morning show. Mulligan’s assertion about the differences between the two formats resulted in a conversation about the differences between the grenres, with Ramirez explaining the difficulties that music radio hosts face on the air.
“The music station’s still creating content,” Ramirez said. “You get to have a guest – since I am going to defend my music stations – you get to have a guest and toss them a softball question and listen to them rant for five minutes.”
Mulligan disagreed with this perspective, conveying that he does not feel their program provides guests with easy questions. Additionally, he shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
“As a former sportswriter, we sit around and we talk about sports,” Mulligan said. “We talk about the sports we cover and we talk about other sports.”
“You have to talk about Justin Fields seven days in a row,” Ramirez replied. “As a morning show for music, you have to come up with new content every day.”
Rather than taking umbrage towards the response, Mike Mulligan explained that the key to effectively performing his job is being able to discuss important stories of the day even when they are not the headlines. Furthermore, he expounded on the commitment that it takes to watch the amount of sporting events and to be properly informed on the action so he is able to take the air.
“That I will agree with,” Ramirez said. “I’ve told people this – they ask me, ‘What’s the biggest difference?’ The prep, without question, is way more difficult in sports radio because everyone that’s listening to you already knows the answers and you have to be equally if not more informed in all of those things.”