Charles Barkley Fearlessly Voices His Opinions on TNT Because He Has ‘Basketball Money’

Charles Barkley’s unfiltered commentary is backed by what he calls “basketball money,” which he says allows him to speak his mind without the constraints that often affect other commentators.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 20: Charles Barkley is seen in attendance during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on November 20, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

A resurfaced video is currently making the rounds on social media of an interview Barkley had with the “In Depth with Graham Bensinger” in 2016. During the interview he explains how he can say the things he says on his TNT sports show.

As Finurah previously reported, Barkley, an NBA Hall of Famer and commentator for “Inside the NBA,” has a reputed net worth of $60 million. As of Oct. 17, 2022, he signed a 10-year, $200 million deal with TNT. This deal was an expansion on the three years he left on a contract that paid him $10 million per season. 

He thinks the network pays him well because he makes wise yet fearless choices about what he discusses in basketball, something he believes he earned through his unique reputation, he told Bensinger. 

“I picked my battles very carefully. Everything’s not worth arguing over but if something serious come out, I’m not afraid. And I think I do have a little leeway because I have basketball money. Like a lot of guys can’t be honest and straightforward on television because this is their job, because people don’t really want to hear the truth,” Barkley said on “In Depth with Graham Bensinger.”

Barkley takes pride in his unfiltered honesty, a quality that not only defines his commentary but also earns him endorsements. Despite differing perspectives, these companies appreciate and respect him for the unique value he brings.

“One thing that people say to me, and it means a great deal to me, ‘I may not agree with you but at least I know you’re going to be honest, at least you’re going to be fair,’” he added.

Barkley’s Background

Hailing from a humble background in Alabama, the former athlete is still amazed about his own journey.

“It was so surreal to look back in [sic] my life,” Barkley, who hails from Leeds, Alabama, said in a “60 Minutes” interview last year.

“I was like, ‘This is amazing…Wait, y’all are going to pay me too?'” Barkley recalled his experience being drafted into the NBA and getting a deal with Nike. “I said, ‘This is the greatest job in the world. Y’all are going to give me a pair of sneakers a week and y’all are going to pay me?'”

In addition to his basketball show on TNT’s sister channel, Barkley serves as the TV co-host for a weekly show called “King Charles” on CNN alongside Gayle King of CBS. The compensation for the CNN show remains undisclosed.

His appearance on the “In Depth with Graham Bensinger” podcast was also gave him the space to talk about his gambling addiction, having lost between $10 million and $20 million in the 1980s.

However, as he explained on the podcast, “It got out of hand, but I quit for like two years, and I remember talking to my friends one night, [and] they said ‘Oh, gambling’s not your problem. You’re just an idiot.’”

“You can’t break the casino and since I developed that mentality, gambling is a lot more fun to me, to be honest with you,” he added

Barkley claims to have won a million dollars on four or five occasions while gambling.

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