NBA legend Kobe Bryant could have been seen on TV more often as he was close to becoming an "Inside the NBA" analyst alongside Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal, Ernie Johnson, and Kenny Smith. But according to Barkley, who recently appeared on Draymond Green's podcast, Bryant didn't end up pursuing his deal with TNT.
An unfortunate blow for TNT
"We hired Kobe Bryant at Turner, but he didn't want to do all the other B.S. And I'm probably going to get in trouble for saying this because this is one of the little things we keep with us, but he signed with us. But we started telling him like, 'You know, you have to do many radio shows; hey, you've got to go on this show from Thursday night at TNT, the same thing on Tuesday, same thing on Wednesday.' He was like, 'Hey, I don't want to do all that stuff'"
Charles Barkley, The Draymond Green Show
TNT's "Inside the NBA" does a fantastic job entertaining the basketball audience from all over the world. Unfortunately, Bryant's refusal to join them due to marketing concerns was tough for the network. "Inside the NBA" could have witnessed multiple episodes of Bryant and O'Neal at the same table. Knowing The Black Mamba's passion and knowledge for the game, "Inside the NBA" could have benefited from these as well.
Moreover, Bryant also built close relationships with the young superstars in the league today, such as Trae Young, Jason Tatum, Devin Booker, and even Giannis Antetokounmpo. His input on these superstars and even the rest would've been a delight to hear weekly on the program.
No regrets for Bryant
Despite turning down what could've been a fantastic gig, Bryant was still very successful after retiring from basketball in 2016. Not only did he win an Oscar at the Academy Awards for his masterpiece entitled "Dear Basketball," but the former Laker also had his show on ESPN called "Detail." Bryant used this platform to analyze the ins and outs of the game, uplift the young through his breakdowns and add his firsthand inputs about the sport in general.
So while it's sad that basketball fans didn't get to see Kobe on "Inside the NBA," at least the five-time champion still eventually became an analyst. And after his tragic death, Bryant's "Detail" episodes will always be worth looking back to as the years go by.