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‘Morale sucks’: Charles Barkley slams TNT leaders, calls them ‘clowns’ as network faces loss of NBA TV rights

The possible loss of the NBA rights on TNT has left Charles Barkley, a popular figure on the show Inside the NBA, feeling perplexed, discouraged and angry.

TNT’s control over NBA games hangs in the balance, and Barkley can’t help but express his fury at the management of his NBA association.

Reports on Tuesday suggest that the imminent establishment of new media rights deals between the NBA and Disney/ESPN, NBC and Amazon could mark the end of TNT’s two-decade commitment to NBA games.

Although Warner Bros. Discovery, TNT’s parent company, has the means to match NBC’s offer, this seems unpredictable.

“Morality sucks, plain and simple. I feel really bad for the people I work with, Dan. These people have families and I really feel bad for them right now. These people I work with screwed this up, clearly, and we have no idea what’s going to happen.” He added: “I don’t feel good. I’m not going to lie, especially when they came out yesterday and said we bought college football. I thought, well, damn, they could have used that money to buy the NBA.”


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Within this scenario, Barkley made an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show, criticizing management for their handling of the NBA situation.

He aired the, predictably, despondency on TNT and expressed disappointment in WBD’s decision to pursue the rights to College Football Playoff games.

Despite TNT’s precarious situation, Inside the NBA continues to be among the most watched studio programs in sports.

Along with Barkley, Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal contribute to the show’s success, delivering candid commentary and laugh-inducing moments that surpass rival shows.

Barkley also surmised that David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, may have irritated NBA Commissioner Adam Silver by proclaiming that they could survive without the NBA in 2022.

This statement, which came just as negotiations over media rights loomed, appears to be a bad omen, particularly as the WBD aims to cut costs.

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Charles Barkley’s plan B: inside the potential future of the NBA without TNT

Charles Barkley, the NBA legend turned Inside the NBA studio host, didn’t hold back his feelings when he appeared on The Dan Patrick Show. He lashed out at Warner Bros.

Discovery, its parent company. He also mentioned the possibility of reviving the famous NBA studio show through his production company if TNT Sports were deprived of the rights to the NBA.

Barkley further revealed that he, along with co-hosts Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith, have this idea. It’s worth noting that while WBD owns ownership of Inside the NBA, Barkley could reestablish it under a different brand if he ventures out independently.

Barkley said: “If we lose the (NBA rights), I would be passionate about doing it with my own production company.”

He added that someone had proposed this idea to him over the Internet, suggesting that he sign these three co-presenters for his production, which he stated was a great idea.

Currently, the fate of the NBA rights remains uncertain, but most reports predict that ESPN is likely to retain the ‘A’ package of games.

By contrast, Amazon lands a deal for the ‘C’ package, leaving NBC Sports with a competitive advantage for the ‘B’ package currently held by Warner Bros. Discovery’s TNT Sports.

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