WATCH: Stephen A. Smith Calls Out Charles Barkley On His BS … Do You Think Chuck Was Lying Or Telling The Truth??

The 2023-2024 NBA season is officially in the books.

Congratulations to the Boston Celtics on capturing their record-setting 18th NBA title.

Interestingly, the drama surrounding Charles Barkley and the future of TNT’s “Inside the NBA” may have actually topped the drama that took place on the actual court this postseason.

With the ultra-popular Inside the NBA set to come to an end (at least in its current form) following next season, Barkley shocked the basketball world by announcing that he will be retiring from broadcasting once the show officially wraps up.

There have been several conversations about what the future might hold for Barkley.

He admitted that he’s spoken to multiple networks regarding a possible move. Many speculated that ESPN or perhaps NBC could ultimately land him when his Turner responsibilities are up.

Following Game 4 of the NBA Finals, Barkley decided to make the shocking announcement that his career as an analyst is coming to an end.

However, some are not buying it…

You can count ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith as one who doubts Barkley will be walking away from the mic – at least anytime soon.

“I’m not in any way calling Charles Barkley a liar,” Smith stated on his podcast.

“I think that Charles Barkley is very sincere. I just don’t think it’s gonna happen. I don’t think Charles Barkley is leaving.”

Smith speculated that Barkley’s retirement announcement stemmed from him pure frustration over TNT’s 35-year run with the league reportedly coming to an end.

While Barkley and Shaq could easily land on other networks, there have been reports that Kenny Smith (who is the best analyst on the entire crew) could be left in the dust.

One thing we do know is no matter what happens, longtime host Ernie Johnson will be staying with Turner.

“That is the Charles Barkley you’re hearing right now,” Smith continued. “A Charles Barkley that loves the people he works with. That loves a lot of the bosses he worked for. That loves some of the colleagues he worked with on the air and behind the scenes.

“It’s a family over there to him. And he can’t imagine wanting to be somewhere else, working with or for somebody else while those people are looking for a job.”

Smith speculated that Barkley might consider continuing “Inside the NBA” through his own production company to keep his colleagues employed.

This sentiment is echoed by Dan Patrick, and Barkley has previously expressed interest in such an arrangement.

“I’m willing to bet my check Charles Barkley would do it just for them,” Smith asserted. “Because no matter the fact that he’s the Round Mound of Rebound, he’s the mouth that roars, he’ll tell it like it is…he’s got a heart of gold.

“He’s one of the best human beings you’ll ever see in your life. And those people are people he cares a great deal about.”

Barkley has previously hinted at retirement multiple times, only to extend his tenure each time the deadline approached.

His love for the microphone and his outspoken nature suggest that retirement might not suit him. After all, he’s still just 61-years-old.

“I’m not saying he’s lying. I’m saying, don’t believe he’s gone for good. Don’t believe it,” Smith emphasized.

“I don’t believe it for one second. His voice is too powerful. It’s too influential, it’s too enjoyable. And he loves the game of basketball too much.

“He ain’t 80!!! He’s still got a lot of life left in him. So, I don’t think for one second this is gonna be the end. I just think he’s pissed off at the way colleagues at TNT are being thrown out to pasture.”

What are your thoughts on Barkley’s retirement announcement?

Do you agree with Stephen A. that he’s intentionally (or perhaps unintentionally) bluffing?

Of course, Barkley has all of the leverage in the world and it’s very hard to see him walking away from broadcasting this early…

What do you think ends up happening???