PHOENIX — Since retiring from the NBA in 2000, Charles Barkley hasn't been hard to find, with the Phoenix Suns legend serving as one of the lead voices on TNT's "Inside the NBA."
Though it appears that the "Round Mound of Rebound" might find himself even more front and center, with Puck News' Dylan Byers reporting that Barkley is currently in negotiations with CNN regarding a primetime news show.
Per Byers, "the show would see the 11-time NBA All-Star, Hall of Famer, and current mega-popular TNT Inside the NBA analyst interviewing newsmakers, journalists, and other guests about various topics of the day. The conceit is that a genuine, outspoken, often humorous figure like Barkley might be a bigger draw than the traditional self-serious newsman, and might be better suited to ask guests the kinds of questions that average Americans actually care about."
Dating back to his 16-year NBA career, Barkley has never been one to bite his tongue, with his Nike "I'm not a role model" campaign only enhancing his popularity. In retirement, the 1993 NBA MVP has been even more vocal -- be it on the subjects of basketball, race, politics and culture among others -- with some even speculating that he might run for governor of his home state of Alabama.
Thus far, however, the 59-year-old Barkley -- who resides in Scottsdale -- has been content to stick with his career in media. Last October, he signed a 10-year extension to remain on "Inside the NBA," which serves as the league's premiere pregame and postgame show for TNT's slate of nationally televised games each Thursday night.
According to Byers, should a deal with CNN come to fruition, it would allow Barkley to remain in his current role on TNT. Reached by Byers for comment regarding the matter, CNN spokesman Matt Dornic said, “Chris is having conversations with dozens of culturally relevant individuals from the worlds of news, sports, entertainment and comedy.”