Skip to main content

Kobe Bryant once signed a contract to become an “Inside the NBA” TV analyst until this happened

Anytime Charles Barkley starts a sentence with "I'm probably going to get in trouble for saying this" there's a good story behind it.
Kobe Bryant and Charles Barkley on a court set of Inside the NBA

Kobe Bryant and Charles Barkley on a court set of Inside the NBA

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.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

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. 

Utah Jazz guard John Stockton and Earl Watson

”He got real chest hair coming out of his jersey” — Earl Watson recalls when John Stockton took him to school

Earl Watson came up with a counter against John Stockton's tendencies. Little did he know that the Utah Jazz had one move to counter his counter.

Utah Jazz forward Karl Malone and Phoenix Suns forward Charles Barkley

“I have Charles Barkley’s attitude, and my inside game is as powerful as his and Karl Malone’s” — when an NBA rookie boasted about his game

In 1993, Rodney Rogers generated quite a buzz when he claimed that he was a better version of Charles Barkley and Karl Malone.

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul and center DeAndre Ayton

“A lot of times guys don’t accept that very well” — Antonio Daniels defends Chris Paul from fans and players criticizing his leadership

Antonio Daniels admires it, Kenyon Martin not so much - Chris Paul's controversial leadership style isn't for everyone.

Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh, Lebron James and guard Dwyane Wade

“We knew that some of the hate was because of our skin color” — Dwyane Wade says the hatred for the Heatles was racially motivated

Wade compared their treatment to Larry Bird's Big 3 in Boston, Michael Jordan's in Chicago and Magic Johnson's in Los Angeles.

Nick-Wright-Draymond-Green

”Draymond has become what he most despises — just giving takes for the sake of takes.” — Nick Wright exposes Draymond Green’s hypocrisy

We'll see if Draymond has the courage to respond to this, but one thing's for sure, he took the L for this one.