Charles Barkley is one of the rare Hall of Fame athletes who may be more successful since he retired than he was during his playing career. Barkley was one of the best NBA players of his generation, though he was overshadowed by contemporaries like Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. This doesn’t mean he wasn’t good.
He’s also good at broadcasting, which he has been doing on TNT since 2000. Twenty years into his second act, Barkley and his Inside the NBA colleagues are considered one of the best studio shows in sports. Here’s a look at what else Barkley does in his post-NBA life.
Charles Barkley’s NBA career
The 76ers selected Barkley with the fifth overall pick in the 1984 draft. He spent the first eight seasons of his 16-year career with the franchise before moving on to the Suns for four seasons, and ending his career with the Rockets in the 1999-2000 season.
Barkley was particularly known for his rebounding ability — hence his nickname “The Round Mound of Rebound” — and his 12,546 career boards currently rank him 20th on the all-time list. He also scored more than 23,000 points in his career and dished out 4,215 assists. Barkley was named the league MVP in 1992-93, and he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006. The biggest knock against Barkley is he never won an NBA championship.
Barkley the TV star
Upon retiring, Barkley slid right into his role as a TV analyst, joining the crew on TNT’s Inside the NBA. Given his noted outspokenness and disregard for watching what he says, Barkley quickly became the star of the show. This vaulted the series to new levels of popularity when he joined existing host Ernie Johnson and analyst Kenny Smith.
With that trio and the more recent addition of Shaquille O’Neal, the show became what many people consider to be the bar by which other sports studio shows are judged. Since joining the program, Barkley has won three Sports Emmys for Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Analyst, most recently in 2017, and has been nominated five other times.
Thanks in large part to Barkley’s contributions, the show has won nine Sports Emmys for Outstanding Studio Show since 2001. Inside the NBA is also scheduled to be honored during the 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony. It will receive the 2020 Curt Gowdy Transformative Media Award.
What else is Barkley doing now?
Working on Inside the NBA is Barkley’s main job since his retirement from the court, but he also makes other media appearances. As part of Turner Sports’ partnership with CBS for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, Barkley appears annually as a studio analyst on the networks’ March Madness coverage.
The NBA star makes occasional appearances on other TV shows. He has hosted Saturday Night Live three times — twice since he retired. Barkley is politically active. Publicly, he’s considered running for office many times. He also backs politicians who he supports while criticizing those he doesn’t.
As Bleacher Report explains, in a 2018 interview with the Scoop B Radio podcast, the outspoken Barkley said if he ruled the world, he would get rid of both of the major political parties in America. “They’re both awful,” he said. “They fight all the time, like little kids.”
In March, Barkley got tested for COVID-19 after he hadn’t been feeling well, as the New York Post reports. In a statement released through TNT, Barkley said he “received [his] COVID-19 test results … and they are negative.” The statement went on to remind people to be safe and take the necessary precautions for their well-being.