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Charles Barkley Reveals Kobe Bryant Was Going to Join ‘Inside the NBA’

“During the regular season, you have to pump it up all week. That’s part of the gig, but Kobe didn’t want to do all that stuff. And it never worked out.”

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Charles Barkley spilled the beans on a secret that might get him called into the principal’s office at Turner Sports.

That secret? Turner had actually signed former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant to a deal to join TNT’s Inside the NBA studio crew.

Barkley admitted he might get in trouble for speaking about it while appearing on The Draymond Green Show this week, but he brought up the Bryant signing in the context of being in the final years of his TV career.

“You built yourself an amazing life,” Barkley said. “Why not enjoy the back nine?

Barkley explained that part of being involved with the NBA on TNT is an obligation to do a certain number of interviews and media appearances each week to promote the Thursday night telecasts. He said that was something Kobe overlooked prior to signing his name on a contract with Turner Sports.

“During the regular season, you have to pump it up all week,” Barkley said of the media appearances. “That’s part of the gig, but Kobe didn’t want to do all that stuff. And it never worked out.”

Barkley explained that during the regular season the actual in-studio schedule is pretty light, but that’s the reason why he, Shaquille O’Neal, and Ernie Johnson have to constantly do interviews. He said once the playoffs start, things get busier. But ultimately during the season, they’re only on TV once a week.

Still, when Bryant, who tragically passed in 2020, heard about the additional commitments beyond just being on TV, he didn’t want to be a part of that.

“He was like, ‘Yeah, I don’t want to do all this stuff,’” Barkley said. “He never came to work for us.”

Barkley has said publicly he will likely retire from TV in the next year or two. He told Green he wants to enjoy being a grandfather and eventually become a great-grandfather, as well as traveling the world.

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Warriors Fans Throw Objects At Charles Barkley On Inside the NBA Set

“Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.”

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TNT/Larry Brown Sports

Charles Barkley is no stranger to being the object of fans’ ire. The cities of San Antonio and Cleveland have a history of being the butt of the Round Mound of Rebound’s jokes. Thursday night in San Francisco, fans of the Warriors took things to a different level, throwing objects at Barkley on the Inside the NBA set.

The TNT studio show was broadcasting live from outside the Chase Center. The crowd chanted “Chuck, you suck!” at Barkley before the game. After Golden State clinched a birth in the NBA Finals, things got physical.

Fans threw things at the set, including a rolled-up t-shirt, which hit Charles Barkley in the back of the head. That resulted in Barkley leaving his seat and bowing up to the audience.

“Come on Chuck!” Ernie Johnson pleaded as Kenny Smith repeatedly said “Sit down Chuck.”

Barkley yelled back at the crowd but never actually left the set.

Now that the Western Conference Finals are over, TNT’s NBA schedule has concluded. That doesn’t mean Charles Barkley won’t return to San Francisco for the NBA Finals, but it is highly unlikely given the reception he has received there.

Barkley spent most of the postseason telling Golden State fans they were annoying and need to shut up and saying the city of San Francisco has “dirty ass streets”.

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Jon Miller To Call MLB Sunday Leadoff Game On Peacock

“According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict.”

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Rich Eisen Show

Legendary play-by-play man Jon Miller will be returning to the national broadcast booth on Sunday. He will call the San Francisco Giants vs. Cincinnati Reds game for Peacock. He’ll be joined in the booth by Barry Larkin and Shawn Estes.

According to a press release, Jason Benetti has a scheduling conflict. Benetti, the regular play-by-play voice of Peacock’s MLB Sunday Leadoff, is also the television voice of the Chicago White Sox. NBC Sports Chicago has prioritized this weekend’s series between the White Sox and Cubs, making Benetti unavailable to the national broadcast.

Miller has been calling Giants games since 1997 and previously shared the Sunday Night Baseball booth on ESPN with hall of famer Joe Morgan.

The broadcast, called MLB Sunday Leadoff, will begin at 11 a.m. with pregame coverage hosted by Ahmed Fareed. The game broadcast begins at 11:30 a.m.

The game will take place in an exclusive two-hour broadcast window prior to the start of the rest of the league’s day of games.

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Amazon Eyeing Pat McAfee For Thursday Night Football Megacast

“No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.’

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First it was the Mannings. Now it’s McAfee. Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports reports that Pat McAfee could be at the center of an alternate broadcast of Thursday Night Football on Amazon in the 2022 season.

No deal is done yet. A source tells McCarthy that it hinges on McAfee’s very busy schedule, but a Megacast is appealing to the former punter.

Rumors of Amazon’s interest in McAfee began to bubble up last month. While he never directly addressed them, he did make mention on his show that he was “up to something” and insinuated that Amazon wasn’t the only company he was talking to.

McAfee has said on his show in the past that he wants to be part of an NFL broadcast. However, he is firm in that it would not be in the broadcast booth.

“I can’t call games. Not yet,” McAfee said on a show in February. “Have to be done with this show to call games. Because that’s like a 3-day, 4-day thing.” 

In addition to his daily show, McAfee is also committed to the WWE. He is on the road for Smackdown every Friday.

There is no word on exactly what a Pat McAfee-centered broadcast would look like. When reports first came out regarding discussions with McAfee, Ryan Glasspiegel of The New York Post reported that moving The Pat McAfee Show to Amazon was on the table. If that happens, it would make sense to use his entire crew on the Thursday Night Football presentation.

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