NBA

Charles Barkley rips Turner Sports on Dan Patrick Show Thursday

May 23, 2024, 12:26 PM | Updated: 12:28 pm

Commentator Charles Barkley looks on during Capital One's The Match IX at The Park West Palm on Feb...

WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 26: Commentator Charles Barkley looks on during Capital One's The Match IX at The Park West Palm on February 26, 2024 in West Palm Beach, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images for The Match)

(Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images for The Match)

The situation involving Turner Sports and the NBA has appeared to sour, with Charles Barkley speaking candidly about his employers this week.

The Inside the NBA contributor made an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show Thursday, ripping Turner Sports for their handling of the media rights with the NBA. Barkley made his feelings known during the interview with Patrick, speaking bluntly about the current situation with his co-workers on the show, and for all the people behind the scenes.

Additionally, the on-air talent was left confused by Turner Sports’ decision to purchase rights to select college football games moving forward, seeing that as writing on the wall for Turner’s involvement with the NBA.

“Morale sucks, plain and simple,” Charles Barkley said Thursday. “I just feel so bad for the people I work with Dan. These people have families, and I just really feel bad for them right now. These people I work with [Turner] they screwed this thing up clearly, and we don’t have zero idea what’s going to happen. I don’t feel good, I’m not gonna lie. Especially when it came out yesterday that said we bought college football. I was like, Oh, damn, they could have used that money to buy the NBA.”

Barkley would go to answer questions about the situation for the next several minutes. At one point, the basketball hall-of-famer called his bosses “clowns” and fools” for dropping the ball on the new media package. He would take it a step further by comparing them to wine brands with decreasing value, highlighting the value of the company should they lose rights to NBA games.

In Charles Barkley’s mind, this all stems from an ill-advised comment from David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, in 2022. Now years later and on the doorsteps of losing the rights for the first time since 1989, the network staple is blaming his higher-ups for the debacle.

“I think the first thing is, they [David Zaslav] came out and said ‘we didn’t need the NBA’. So I think that probably pissed [NBA Commissioner Adam Silver] off,” Barkley stated. “I don’t know that…But when we merged, that’s the first thing our boss said, ‘we don’t need the NBA’. Well, he don’t need it, but the rest of the people who work here, we need it. So it just sucks right now.”

Chuck was also asked by Patrick if the idea of starting their own production company and selling the rights to Inside The NBA would be something in the cards. The former player acknowledged that that is an idea being pitched with the other show contributors, but it’s too early to make real decisions with so much still up in the air.

All of this is on the heels of reports indicating the NBA’s TV deal is on the verge of being finalized.

As of now, ESPN parent company Disney, new partner Amazon, and the returning NBC will take over the share of nationally broadcasted games following the 2024-25 season. If that deal is completed, Turner will be the odd man out, taking NBA programming off their channels for the first time in decades.

Click here for more information on the NBA’s new TV deal.

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