Inside The NBA is understood to be easily the best NBA studio show in the market right now and is widely regarded as one of the best pregame studio shows in any major American sport. Thanks to Charles Barkley, we now know of an alternate reality where the show added one of the best players of all time.
Barkley spoke to Draymond Green as part of the Warriors All-Star's podcast with The Volume, Colin Cowherd's podcast network. Barkley told Green that Kobe Bryant, of all people, actually put pen to paper and signed with Inside The NBA, but once he was told that he'd have to do other stuff around the show, quit without hesitation.
Here's a transcription of the comments, per The Volume:
Charles Barkley: "I’ll tell you this funny story and not many people know this – and I’m probably going to get in trouble for telling you this – we actually hired Kobe Bryant."
Draymond Green: "At Turner?"
CB: "At Turner. But he didn’t want to do all the other bullsh-t. And I’m probably going to get in trouble for saying this, but it’s one of the things we keep in the closet. So he actually signed with us. But then when we started telling him – you know I have to do a bunch of radio shows. Like, I go on this show on Monday and, ‘Hey – Thursday from TNT.’ Same thing on Tuesday, same thing on Wednesday, same thing on Thursday." He like, ‘Yeah, I don’t want to do all that stuff.’ Well you have to promote the show Kobe."
CB: "So Kobe is actually so funny – like I say, there is probably only ten people in the world know that. That he actually signed with and he like, ‘Nah, I’m not doing all that other bullshit. And he just like, ‘Nah.’"
That certainly sounds like something Kobe would do. He would have been great on television with the current crew. The dialogue between him and Shaq alone would have been worth every penny for Turner. The barbs may have been a bit more pointed coming from a former teammate. It would have been great content.