Charles Barkley, the longtime NBA star who is currently an analyst on TNT, wants to eventually return to the league to run a team’s front office.
The 1993 NBA MVP has expressed interest in running a team several times, noting in 2012 that he wanted a shot with the Philadelphia 76ers and stating in 2010 that he coveted the Phoenix Suns’ job. He also discussed his desire to become the GM for the Suns in 2013.
Barkley said that he thought he was going to get a front-office gig with the Orlando Magic before the organization hired John Hammond and Jeff Weltman last offseason (via 98.7 FM Arizona):
“I thought I was going to be one last year, and I was really pissed I didn’t get the job. I would listen to certain people, but I’m not sure at this stage in my life — but I did, I thought I had the job last year and it pissed me off. They hired another one of those analytical idiots instead of just getting the best players. That’s OK.”
This appearance aired earlier this week and this afternoon, Barkley had another interview where he clarified which role he was referencing. The 11-time All-Star said he thought he’d land the Magic’s President of Basketball Operations gig.
There is no reported record of Barkley even interviewing for the Orlando position. The Magic were reportedly interested in bringing on former Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin as well as former Minnesota Timberwolves executive Kevin McHale.
Others linked to the gig included current Milwaukee Bucks assistant general manager David Morway and Los Angeles Clippers head coach Doc Rivers. Of course, Rivers coached the Magic from 1999 until 2003 and was an executive for the Los Angeles Clippers until August 2017.
Matt Lloyd was interviewed for the position and held the interim job until they filled the role with a more permanent fixture. Weltman is now the Magic’s president of basketball operations, with Hammond working as the general manager. There was no indication that Orlando even expressed interest in Barkley, who does not have any experience working in a front office.