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Charles Barkley: Kobe Bryant was almost part of Inside The NBA crew

Apparently, he had another media venture that he considered once before eventually passing on it. And that was being a member of the NBA on TNT Thursday night crew. We could’ve apparently had some mixture of Charles Barkley, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson. That’s according to Barkley, anyway. The NBA on TNT host visited Draymond Green’s podcast and explained how Bryant had actually signed a contract to come on the show but “didn’t want to do all the other .”
Take a listen. “He had signed with us. David Levy, my old boss, had signed him to a deal. And we were excited. We were really excited. And then he called me back a week, 10 days later…like, ‘Yeah, Kobe’s not going to come.’ I’m like, ‘why?’ Because he don’t want to do all the PR stuff. He don’t want to go on radio shows and talk about basketball. Like, well, that’s part of the gig…He didn’t want to do all that and he never came to work for us.”
Storyline: Kobe Bryant Business
The NBA All-Star Game will now have its own alternate broadcast featuring Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and the recently signed Draymond Green. For Sunday night’s game, Turner has shifted its plan and will have Barkley team with the rest of the “Inside the NBA” crew, including Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith, to opine on the game on TBS. TNT will add some bells and whistles, too, but it will be a little more traditional. Turner Sports announced the moves on Tuesday.
The NBA All-Star game will now have its own alternative broadcast featuring Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and the recently signed Draymond Green. For Sunday night’s game, Turner has shifted its plan and will have Barkley team with the rest of “Inside the NBA” crew, including Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith, to opine on the game on TBS. TNT will add some bells and whistles, too, but it will be a little more traditional. Turner Sports announced the moves on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, the National Sports Media Association announced their annual awards for sportscaster and sportswriter of the year, both nationally and in each of the 50 states. The NSMA also announced their latest batch of Hall of Fame honorees. There was a tie for the National Sportscaster of the Year award for the first time ever, with Turner’s Ernie Johnson and ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt sharing the award. Jeff Passan of ESPN was named as the National Sportswriter of the Year. It’s the first national honor for each of Johnson, Van Pelt, and Passan.
Saturday Night Live brought back their somewhat-recurring NBA on TNT sketch last night. Featuring Kenan Thompson as Charles Barkley, Alex Moffat as Ernie Johnson, and Chris Redd as Kenny Smith, the studio parody also found room (albeit barely, given the size jokes at play) for Bowen Yang as Yao Ming, filling in for Shaq.