You can say goodbye to the greatest NBA studio show of all time, and make sure to thank cancel culture for it.
“Inside the NBA” star Charles Barkley — the face of the show for the past 21 years — announced on Washington sports radio station 106.7 The Fan he will be leaving the show when he turns 60, calling his bosses “cowards” for bowing down to the woke culture.
“It’s gotten so out of hand right now, I couldn’t imagine having to watch myself. You can’t even have fun nowadays without these jackasses trying to get you canceled and things like that.”
Barkley says that he’ll be a part of the show for the next two years before calling it quits, though it’s yet to be seen if he’ll last that long considering his comments regarding his bosses at TNT.
“[I’m] just having fun, talking about sports,” Barkley said. “I’m trying to hang on for another couple years until I’m 60, and then they can kiss my ass. I’m only working until 60. I’ve already told them that. We can’t even have fun anymore. We’ve had fun all these years, and now all of a sudden in the last year and a half, everybody’s trying to get everybody fired, and it really sucks.”
Cancel culture has come for everyone over the past year, causing anyone in the spotlight to be mindful of their words. Barkley, who has made a living with his hot takes and irreverent humor, said the conversations behind the scenes are now about making sure not to offend anymore.
“All we ever talk about behind the scenes now is, ‘Yo man, be careful going in this direction.’ We can’t even have fun anymore,” Barkley said. “A lot of our bosses are cowards.”
One of the best parts of “Inside the NBA” has long been the running arguments between the four stars of the show. Barkley — often the butt of jokes — says that disagreement is no longer acceptable in today’s world.
“One of my favorite phrases is ‘We agree to disagree.’ I’m not mad, I don’t want you to be mad”, Barkley said. “We just disagree. But unfortunately — it’s been happening for a couple of years — if people disagree with you, they’re going to get fired. They’re coming for your head.”
Barkley’s most famous running joke is about the city of San Antonio and the women that live there. It’s always been known to be a joke, with residents in San Antonio getting in on it as well.
Barkley told 106.7 The Fan that TNT won’t let him use the joke anymore, putting an end to one of the best segments of the show.
“If you crack a joke the wrong way,” Barkley said, “they’re like, ‘Oh, no, no, no, you crossed the line.’ I mean, they won’t even let me talk about San Antonio anymore when I’m always talking about their big ole women down in San Antonio. They’re like, ‘Charles, we got one lady [who] wrote an article.’ “I’m like, ‘First of all, I didn’t call anybody personally fat in San Antonio; I was just joking around. … We’ve been having fun with this for probably 10–15 years. We go to San Antonio; the people are having a blast with it. The people in San Antonio had T-shirts made up.”
Barkley has never been one to “stick to sports,” often injecting himself into the world of politics, usually slamming people on both sides of the aisle. During the Final Four in April, Barkley made headlines with his comments on politicians and how they intentionally fuel racial divides.
“Man, I think most white people and black people are great people. I really believe that in my heart,” he said. “But I think our system is set up where our politicians, whether they’re Republicans or Democrats, are designed to make us not like each other, so they can keep their grasp [on] money and power. They divide and conquer. I truly believe in my heart most white people and black people are awesome people. But we are so stupid following our politicians, whether they are Republicans or Democrats, and their only job is, ‘Hey, let’s make these people not like each other. We don’t live in their neighborhoods. [We’ve] all got money. Let’s make the whites and blacks not like each other; let’s make rich people and poor people not like each other; let’s scramble the middle class.’”
Barkley’s departure leaves a gaping hole for TNT and “Inside the NBA” to fill, who will have to find another talent to fit next to Kenny “The Jet ” Smith and Shaquille O’Neal. For the loyal viewers of the show, Barkley has always been the main reason to tune in. Though his basketball analysis can often be shoddy, his clever way of making the game fun has always been a reason to watch.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.