Hall of Famer and Inside the NBA analyst Charles Barkley reveals the late Kobe Bryant had signed a deal with Turner Sports but would turn it down later.
When we talk about pre-game shows, Inside the NBA is right there at the top, boasting a stellar cast of Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and host Ernie Johnson. The award-winning show changed the dynamics of broadcasting.
NBA superstars switching careers to television post-retirement is no old concept. In the past, we’ve seen the likes of Magic Johnson and Chris Webber develop a fan base on television as well. However, nobody has been able to top the success of the original cast of Inside the NBA.
Now imagine the likes of a Kobe Bryant sitting alongside Shaq and Chuck, skyrocketing the television ratings. Surprisingly, the Black Mamba had signed a deal with NBA on TNT but would turn it down.
During a recent appearance on The Draymond Green Show, Barkley made a startling revelation about TNT hiring Kobe. However, things didn’t materialize as the Lakers legend wasn’t interested in the promotions and marketing of the show.
Kobe Bryant had signed for Thursday night NBA on TNT.
Nobody thought of Kobe doing television, something he echoed as well. However, the Mamba had his way of surprising his fans. During a conversation with Draymond, The Chuckster revealed that TNT had hired the five-time Lakers champion, but the latter dropped out later.
“We actually hired Kobe Bryant at Turner,” said Barkley. “But he (Kobe) didn’t want to do all the other bullsh*t. So he actually signed with us but then when we started telling him that you actually got to do a bunch of radio shows like, Hey, I go on this show on Monday from Thursday night TNT, the same thing on Tue, Wed, and Sun. He like, ‘I don’t wanna do all that stuff.”‘
With the makers telling him, “You have to promote the show, Kobe.”
“Kobe Bryant signed a contract to join the NBA on TNT crew after his retirement.” – Charles Barkley pic.twitter.com/EOsBwQMP8f
— ⁶ (@OVOLakeShow) March 2, 2022
The Chuckster revealed that probably only ten people in the world knew about all this. Draymond would further ask Barkley if Kobe was going to be a part of the Thursday night crew, to which the former MVP replied, yes.
Barkley confessed to being excited about having the Lakers MVP on board. However, the eleven-time All-star would later reveal that his producer called him later to say that Kobe wasn’t doing the job as he wasn’t interested in the PR and going to radio shows to talk basketball.
The Chuckster echoed the statement of his producers that it was their job to promote the show and talk basketball wherever they went.
It would have been a sight to watch Kobe sit alongside his former teammate Shaq and engage in the hilarious antics and gags of the show.