And-Ones: Barkley, Nunn, Ibaka, Africa

Hall of Famer Charles Barkley recently said he’s going to retire from TV at the conclusion of 2024/25, which could be the final season TNT holds the media rights to NBA games. Barkley has been an analyst on Inside the NBA since 2000.

While his comments certainly seemed genuine, Andrew Marchand of The Athletic believes Barkley will cover the NBA again in some fashion after next season ends, noting the 61-year-old has frequently talked about retirement in the past but he just signed a highly lucrative 10-year contract a couple years ago.

That long-term deal with TNT could complicate matters, but potential new (or returning) media rights holders like Amazon and NBC would love to have Barkley and the entire Inside the NBA crew on board, Marchand writes. A “more plausible” scenario, according to Marchand, would be ESPN giving Barkley a “sweetheart deal” he can’t refuse, perhaps offering to let him work less frequently while still covering the most important games, such as the NBA Finals.

Here’s more from around the basketball world:

  • Former NBA guard Kendrick Nunn, who helped lead Panathinaikos to a EuroLeague championship in ’23/24, was arrested less than a day after helping his Greek club win a domestic title, according to Eurohoops. Nunn was detained after a verbal exchange with his wife, who declined to press charges, and has subsequently been released. The 28-year-old signed a two-year contract extension with Panathinaikos last month, but he hasn’t ruled out an NBA return, as his deal contains out clauses. Nunn last played for the Lakers and Wizards in ’22/23.
  • Big man Serge Ibaka, who played 14 NBA seasons from 2009-2023, says he’s undecided on what he’s going to do next season after spending the ’23/24 campaign with Bayern Munich in Germany, per Eurohoops. Ibaka was rumored to be signing a one-year deal with Real Madrid, but he denied that’s the case.
  • Tania Ganguli of The New York Times takes an in-depth look at the NBA’s investment in Africa, which includes the Basketball Africa League. The NBA has long believed the continent could be a key way to grow the popularity of the sport and add young talent to the league’s player pool, but commissioner Adam Silver wonders if enough money is being spent to support growth. “As much as we are investing in Africa, the opportunity is so enormous I worry that we’re under-investing,” Silver said in an interview. “There’s so much opportunity, but it’s not always easy to know how to deploy capital, which government you should be dealing with, who the honest brokers are. And so we’re learning as we go.”
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