Charles Barkley Gets ‘Catty’ On ‘Inside The NBA’

One of the time-honored traditions in most forms of sports broadcasting is the shout-out to/thanking of the production staff at the end of games. It’s a nice little gesture to let audiences know that it takes much more than a couple of talking heads to put on a sportscasts; none of the blowhards on camera could do their thing without the producers, directors, cameramen, and other hard-working people behind the scenes. TNT’s INSIDE THE NBA, however, ain’t “most forms” of broadcasting, and loudmouth Charles Barkley ain’t “most broadcasters.”

Charles Barkley


After last night’s game, a 103-90 Orlando Magic beatdown of the Cavs that sent the Magic to the NBA Finals and signaled the end of the season’s TNT NBA broadcasts, the INSIDE THE NBA crew assembled to thank their production staff. Everything went fine until Sir Charles let loose, calling executive producer Tim Kiely … well, a “cat”, in a manner of speaking. Video impropriety, including an unprovoked potshot at Kenny Smith’s family jewels, after the jump.

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Barkley Taking A “Leave Of Absence” From TNT

For a long time, it seemed like Charles Barkley was Teflon: nothing he could do or say, no matter how outrageous or crazy, could ruin his place as a media darling. But the last few months haven’t been kind to Sir Charles: from his gambling and money problems to his recent DUI arrest, the hits have been coming fast and furious.

Charles Barkley headphones

And now the fallout is really beginning: USA TODAY is reporting that he is taking a leave of absence from the network to deal with the ramifications from his recent DUI arrest in Arizona. As AWFUL ANNOUNCING notes, this might be the best plan of action, as TNT would love to put the controversy on the back burner and avoid having to fire one of their media stars.

(Still no word yet on if T-Mobile is planning on continuing their association with Barkley as the celebrity endorser, but if they do, let me recommend that they add the local taxi service to his “My 5.”)

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Collins Not Coming Back to Chicago; Suns Maybe?

It’s been quite a week for sports reversals. First, Bill Parcells & Tony Sparano both want Jason Taylor back with the Dolphins, after earlier shunning the Dancing Fool. And now, Doug Collins blows off his chance to come back to the Windy City.

Doug Collins Sports Illustrated Cover

The CHICAGO TRIBUNE reports that the one-time Bulls coach will remain a one-timer, as Collins changed his mind about filling in the head coaching vacancy.

So, is Doug’s departure good news for the still-coachless Suns?

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Vegas Heaves Sigh Of Selief As TNT Re-Ups Chuck

SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY reports that a new deal will keep Charles Barkley entertaining TNT audiences for years to come - well, at least the next four, anyway.

Charles Barkley playing poker

The deal, which promises to put Chuck’s yearly pay in the mid seven-figure range, is expected to be finalized this week. As part of the new contract, Sir Charles will also be making appearances on NBA TV and showing up online with TNT NBA Overtime.

Looks like Chuck will be able to recoup some of his Super Bowl losses. But what if the deal falls through, and Barkley walks? Read more…

Frank Caliendo Does Quite A Good Charles Barkley

FRANK CALIENDO’S BARKLEY IMPRESSION GETS CHUCKLES: We earlier wrote how “Frank TV”, the show promoted non-stop during TBS’s baseball playoff coverage, would only air for four episodes.

Now it turns out they might be worth watching, after all:

(Fun starts at 1:01) 

YOU BEEN BLINDED alerts us to a clip of Frank Caliendo impersonating Charles Barkley. And it’s not just a clip from his show; Frankie had the basketballs to do it in front of Sir Charles himself.

After a minute of a “Frank TV” clip, Caliendo appears in the NBA on TNT studio with Barkley, Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith. And right away, Frank launches in to the impression.

Frank Caliendo impersonate Charles Barkley

TNT even went so far as to dress up Frank as Sir Charles for part of his chrome-dome entertainment.

And we have to admit, Caliendo’s send-up is pretty damn funny. What makes it more hilarious is Barkley’s reaction throughout, which was basically this:

Not many chuckles came from Chuck. Even after Frank’s first words, Charles was already showing displeasure: “Alright, that’s how bad stuff happen around here.”

The full clip lasts just over 8 minutes, and Frank throws in his usual mimicking of John Madden & George W. Bush, while adding a new funny favorite - Bill Walton.

Charles Barkley Frank Caliendo

But the Barkley impression itself makes up for all the tiresome TV spots we had to endure during the Rockies’ miracle postseason run.

Frank, we forgive you. For now.