Charles Barkley says he will retire from TV after the 2024-2025 NBA season

The NBA legend made the stunning announcement on air after Game 4 of the Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics.

Charles Barkley attends the Warner Bros. Discovery Upfront
Coppola/Getty Images for Warner Bros. Discovery

After a stunning Game 4 victory by the Dallas Mavericks Friday night, Charles Barkley had a stunner of his own to share.

The Basketball Hall of Famer and long-time basketball analyst for TNT, CBS Sports and NBA TV said he will retire after the 2024-2025 NBA season during post-Finals NBA TV coverage.

"I just want to say thank you to my NBA family. You guys have been great to me, my heart is full with joy and gratitude, but I'm going to pass the baton at the end of next year," Barkley said.

In his on-air announcement, Barkley also addressed the rumors that TNT may lose its rights to air NBA games starting in the 2025-2026 season, when a new broadcasting deal is set to take effect.

The 11-time All-Star made it clear that the possible end of the NBA on TNT had nothing to do with his decision.

"There's been a lot of noise around our network the last few months. I just want to say, I talked to all the other networks, but I ain't going nowhere other than TNT," Barkley said. "But I have made the decision myself, no matter what happens, next year is going to be my last year on television."

The NBA's current deals with ABC-ESPN and Turner Sports expire after next season and the league has been talking with NBC, ESPN and Amazon, among other networks and platforms, about what comes next. Commissioner Adam Silver said last week he hopes new long-term deals will be completed shortly.

Barkley and broadcast teammates Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O'Neal and Kenny Smith have discussed their uncertain future on their popular “Inside the NBA” studio show. Barkley would seemingly draw interest from any network televising NBA, but the 61-year-old has decided that 25 years will be enough and he will “pass the baton,” hopefully to a TNT teammate such as Vince Carter or Jamal Crawford.

Next season will also mark the 25th year the 61-year-old has been covering the NBA.

"I'm not going to another network, but I'm going to pass the baton to Jamal Crawford or Vince Carter or you Steve [Smith]," Barkley added. "But next year, I'm just going to retire after 25 years. And I just wanted to say thank you, and I wanted y'all to hear it from me first."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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