Matt Markus is leaving the radio show for a new role with Cumulus

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A career total of 23,757 points. Add 12,456 rebounds. With 4,215 assists. And 11 All-Star selections. It’s safe to say Charles Barkley has the numbers to back up his nomination as a member of the National Basketball Association’s 75th Anniversary Team.

After his 16-year professional career, during which he adapted for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets, Barkley joined the NBA on TNT upon his retirement in 2000 as an analyst on his show of award-winning studio. Inside the NBA. 21 years later, Barkley, 59, intends to complete the remaining two years of his contract with Turner Sports and then retire from his television work.

Barkley has provided basketball fans with countless memorable moments, whether on the court or in the studio alongside host Ernie Johnson and co-analysts Kenny “The Jet” Smith and Shaquille O’Neal. At this point in his life, however, Barkley wants to focus on being there for his family, who will soon welcome a new grandchild, while enjoying his lifestyle, which includes playing golf and hiking the world.

With the recent addition of Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green to the NBA analyst pool on TNT, along with the existing presences of Candace Parker and Dwyane Wade, Barkley’s replacement could very well come from within. . As he explained Friday on ESPN Cleveland’s 850 Morning Driving Program The very big showBarkley is ready for the transition and eager to see what lies ahead in his life.

“Once you’re a grandparent, you’re officially old, so I’m excited about that. [and my grandchild’s birth is] going to be the best day of my life,” Barkley said.

“I’m smart enough to know I’m on the ‘back nine’ of life. I wanna enjoy – every time the big guy comes for me; I don’t worry about death, I don’t think about death. dead, but I’m smart enough to know if I’m 60, I’m closer to death than to the front line.

Barkley is currently in Cleveland for the NBA All-Star Weekend festivities and is looking forward to seeing old friends and NBA legends, as well as current NBA players named to the 75th Anniversary Team such as Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo and LeBron James.

During the game, which is scheduled to begin Sunday at 8 p.m. EST, Turner Sports will present another viewing experience airing on TBS called Inside the All-Star Game. It will feature Barkley and the rest of the Inside the NBA the team talks about the game, interacts with fans and players and, of course, the Sports Emmy award-winning team who banter all night long.

One thing Barkley won’t do, however, is try to dunk a basketball – so don’t expect to see that if you log on.

“The only dipping [for me] is happening at Dunkin Donuts,” Barkley said. “I would be scared to try to explode and dive right now because I know – ankles, knees – something would break. I would be scared to try to explode on my old legs and dunk a ball of basket ball.

Besides his television role, Barkley really wants to enjoy this weekend in Cleveland as society attempts to return to some form of pre-pandemic normalcy. Part of that will be by attending NBA All-Star Weekend parties before the Team LeBron vs. Team Kevin showdown on Sunday night.

“Every great player throws a party, and trying to get to the different parties is the fun part,” Barkley said. “I know the LeBron guys threw a party last night. We couldn’t go because we were on the air, [but] I expect a group of guys to throw parties tonight.

Barkley went on a weight loss program, losing 50 pounds by eating one meal a day between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., and started playing golf every day for the first time in 25 years. Additionally, his wardrobe has consisted of brighter colors lately, a change from the “all-black closet” he had when his weight fluctuated. In short, Barkley is “starting to feel like a human being” and hopes to live life to the fullest, especially once his television contract expires.

“I just want to enjoy the back of my life; being a grandfather, traveling the world,” Barkley said. “I’m going to work the last two years on my deal and thank the NBA for everything they’ve given me; TNT and Nike and everyone, and just enjoy the last nine of life.

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