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Charles Barkley announces plans to retire from television next year amid NBA media rights uncertainty

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Basketball Hall of Fame Charles Barkley He announced his intentions Friday to retire from broadcasting at the end of the 2024-2025 NBA season, which will mark his 25th year as a commentator.

The shocking decision comes amid uncertainty surrounding the NBA’s media landscape.

Charles Barkley on set "Behind the scenes of the NBA"

The TNT NBA Tip-Off presented by CarMax will air live before the game on October 24, 2023 from Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado. (Jamie Schwabelow/NBAE via Getty Images)

“I’m not sure what to do,” Barkley, 61, revealed on NBA TV. NBA Finals Game 4 On Friday night, he said he plans to “pass the baton” regardless of whether TNT is able to continue broadcasting games beyond next season.

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“I’ve been thinking about you guys. You guys are my family so I just want to say, I love TNT, all the people that work here, NBA Television. You guys have been so good to me these last 24 years. I want to thank the whole NBA family. I love you all,” Barkley began.

“There’s been a lot of turmoil at our network over the last few months, and I’ve spoken to all the other networks, but I’m not going anywhere other than TNT. But I’ve made the decision for myself that no matter what happens, next year will be my last year on television.”

Charles Barkley speaks to the media

DALLAS, TEXAS – JUNE 14: Charles Barkley speaks with media before Game 4 of the 2024 NBA Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and the Boston Celtics at the American Airlines Center on June 14, 2024 in Dallas, Texas. (Stacey Revere/Getty Images)

Charles Barkley: ‘I can talk to anyone’, won’t be silenced by executives over NBA rights deal

“And I want to thank my NBA family, you’ve all been so good to me,” he continued. “My heart is filled with joy and gratitude, but I will be passing the baton at the end of next year. I hope the NBA stays on TNT, but personally, I won’t be doing any more interviews so I wanted you all to hear it directly from me.”

Berkeley is NBA game night. Still, the future of “Inside the NBA” remains unclear as TNT’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, vie for broadcast rights beyond next season.

The NBA’s current deals with ABC-ESPN and Turner Sports expire after next season, and the NBA is in talks with other networks and platforms, including NBC, ESPN and Amazon, about future developments.

Charles Barkley signs jersey

LAS VEGAS, NV – DECEMBER 07: Charles Barkley signs autographs during an in-season tournament game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the Los Angeles Lakers at T-Mobile Arena on December 7, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (NBA Photo/NBAE via Getty Images)

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But Berkeley’s future will not be affected by these decisions.

“Next year I retire after a 25-year career and I wanted to start by saying thank you to everyone,” Barkley said, adding that he would likely ask TNT’s Vince Carter or Jamal Crawford to take over as his replacement.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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