Skip to main content

Charles Barkley shares the toughest part about working on Inside the NBA


They are the best show on TV, and Charles Barkley has said numerous times he's never worked a day in his life - first he was paid millions to play a game he loves, and now he's paid to have fun talking about the game he loves. But that doesn't mean there aren't difficult things and days in the studio. One of the worst ones was back in 2006, and it involved a mad Kobe Bryant

In 2006 the Lakers became the eighth NBA team to lose a series after leading 3 games to one. Shaq was out of town,, and Kobe tried to prove he can do it without the big fella. This was peak Kobe trying to do it all by himself. The Lakers finished the season with a 45 - 37 record and were facing the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs. Here are Kobe's shot attempts and game results from that series (bold indicates most shot taken on the team). 

  • Game 1 - Lakers lost - 21
  • Game 2 - Lakers won - 24
  • Game 3 - Lakers won - 18
  • Game 4 - Lakers won - 14
  • Game 5 - Lakers lost - 17
  • Game 6 - Lakers lost - 35
  • Game 7 - Lakers lost - 16
Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Despite the fact the Lakers won both games in which he didn't take the most shots, Kobe didn't trust his teammates enough to continue playing that way and took 35 shots in Game 6. After that game, the team and the media criticized him heavily, and after taking 13 shots in the first half, Kobe decided to make a point. He took only 3 shots the entire second half of Game 7. After the game, Charles Barkley said he was extremely disappointed and called Kobe "very selfish."

“Remember the game he wouldn’t shoot? I was the first person to call him out after that game. I said this dude is trying to prove a point. He’s just wrong. So we get off the air, and Kobe texts me for the next three hours, and we go back and forth for the next three hours. He won’t pick up a phone; he keeps sending me texts. And he’s going crazy for three hours. We laughed about it years later. But for three hours, he’s mf-fing me, you SOB. I was like ‘pick up the phone.’ I said to him I didn’t like what he did and that he was 100 percent wrong.”

Charles Barkley.

As confident and persistent as Barkley is in calling it as he sees it, that doesn't mean situations like these are easy for him. In a new documentary, "The Inside Story," about life on "Inside the NBA," Sir Charles revealed criticizing other players is the hardest part of the job for Shaq, Kenny, and himself. Barkley knows how much it means to players when Hall of Famers talk about their game and never takes it lightly.

Here comes the part that made Kobe special. He didn't leave it at that. Kobe showed up on Inside and hashed it out with Barkley on live TV. Both stood their ground but admitted they could've reacted better at the moment. Kobe pointed out the selfish part was what he took issue with, at it was a persistent criticism he dealt with throughout his career and it was coming from one of the game's legends. Later in his career, Bryant gave the ultimate Kobe explanation of the number of shots he'd take in those days.

The man made a valid point. Charles and Kobe were cool after that, and I'd love to see more players who feel slighted on the show hashing it out on live TV. It's the healtiest way to air you grievances and evolve the conversation we have about the game we love.

Kyrie Irving on why he didn't get a new contract this offseason - I gave up four years, 100-something million to be unvaccinated”

Kyrie Irving on why he didn't get a new contract this offseason - I gave up four years, 100-something million to be unvaccinated”

Irving said that his decision to remain unvaccinated from COVID-19, which prevented him from playing for the Brooklyn Nets, cost him a new contract this offseason

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic

“I don’t want to disappoint him" - Nikola Jokic credits the person behind his life-changing weight loss

Nikola Jokic has entrusted his career and life to the Nuggets' strength and conditioning coach. And he didn't make a mistake.

Indiana Pacers guard Reggie Miller

“I knew immediately” — Reggie Miller on scoring 8 points in 8.9 seconds against the New York Knicks

Reggie Miller gave Knicks forward Anthony Mason some props for delivering the best chest pass he's ever seen.

Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green

“I don't think it will happen” — Draymond Green on getting a contract extension with the Golden State Warriors

Draymond said he won't let his contract situation get in the way of defending the title. Let's see if he feels the same way when Jordan Poole and Andrew Wiggins get an extension.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant

“He was crying, bro” — Chauncey Billups revealed why Kobe Bryant was crying after making it to the 2009 NBA Finals

Kobe Bryant was so determined to win a championship without Shaquille O'Neal to the point that his emotions oftentimes consumed him.

Los Angeles Dodgers partner Magic Johnson and wife Cookie Johnson

“I bribed her. I gave her a million dollars” — Cookie Johnson's condition to allow Magic Johnson to return in 1995

The money was just a cherry on the top. Cookie gave Magic a clear ultimatum, or else she would've divorced him.

Shaquille O'Neal and Vince Carter

“I felt like it was close“ — Vince Carter revealed that he was close to teaming up with Shaquille O'Neal

Shaquille O'Neal's unwillingness to play in Canada was a harsh truth pill to swallow for Vince Carter, whose career would've probably been different if he had teamed up with O'Neal.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo

“I appreciate the compliment. It's not going to soften me at all.” — Steph Curry brushes off Giannis Antetokounmpo calling him the “best player in the world”

Compliment or not, Steph Curry says he’s not going to let Giannis Antetokounmpo get into his head with some gamesmanship.