Charles Barkley isn't the first person who comes to mind for Stanley Cup coverage. Nevertheless, the former NBA player-turned-broadcaster made an unexpected appearance during Monday's Game 2 between the Florida Panthers and the Edmonton Oilers. Barkley joined P.K. Subban, Steve Levy, and Mark Messier during one of ABC’s intermission breaks to discuss the game.

While on the air, Levy quickly addressed the subject of Barkley's future in broadcasting, given that TNT is poised to lose its NBA media rights deal.

Levy hinted at the possibility of Barkley joining ESPN, “Welcome Mark Messier, P.K. Subban and the newest member of ESPN's NBA coverage? Maybe?” Levy opened the segment.

Charles Barkley joking around in the Stanley Cup Final

Instead of addressing his job situation right away, Barkley humorously diverted the conversation by mentioning that Messier owes him $5,000 from a delay of game penalty during his playing days.

After talking about Barkley's passion for hockey and his relationship with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, the crew revisited his employment situation.

Barkley, the NBA Hall of Famer quipped that he wished he had a job secured and joked about being back on LinkedIn.

“Listen, I wish I had a job next year. I'm on LinkedIn. I put on my resume, [and] they are like, ‘You never had a real job'. I said that's not my fault,” Barkley said laughing.

Uncertain future for Charles Barkley and Inside the NBA

NBA great Charles Barkley is honored for being selected to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team during halftime in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the league is nearing a deal to air its games on NBC, ESPN, and Amazon, potentially excluding TNT for the first time since 1989.

However, Barkley stated that he hadn't received any information from his employer regarding whether the show he's been a part of since 2000 will be ending next year.

The NBA legend, Barkley expressed his main concern about the TNT experience, saying, “That’s the one thing that really, really bothered me the most about the TNT experience.” He hosts “Inside the NBA” alongside Shaquille O'Neal, Ernie Johnson, and Kenny Smith.

The NBA's departure would be a significant setback for those involved in producing games for TNT and the content surrounding it, including the critically acclaimed “Inside the NBA.”

Given the uncertain future of the NBA on TNT crew, the idea of Barkley joining ESPN's NBA coverage isn't too far off, and Levy didn't wait long to mention this potential move.