Charles Barkley Says Kobe Nearly Joined ‘NBA On TNT’ Kobe Bryant came close to joining the NBA On TNT crew after retiring, according to Charles Barkley. In fact, it was more than just ‘close’ – Charles says Kobe actually signed a deal with Turner in 2016, but later changed his mind and cancelled the deal. Telling the story on Draymond Green’s podcast, Barkley said Kobe didn’t want to do “all the b******t” – meaning interviews, radio spots, and various promotional duties that are “part of the gig”. The move probably would have been a ratings bonanza, reuniting Kobe with his former Lakers teammate Shaquille O’Neal. Would Kobe have been a good TV personality? Any chance Charles is just telling a story here?