Charles Barkley threw down the gauntlet back in April and offered Kobe Bryant a job alongside him, Kenny Smith, Shaquille O’Neal and Ernie Johnson on TNT’s Inside the NBA. Barkley didn’t make the offer all by his lonesome. Smith also agreed, saying Bryant would be a nice fit and could turn their studio team into “The Jackson 5” and that they would make room for Kobe on their desk.
A whole month has passed since Barkley’s (unofficial) job offer and Bryant doesn’t seem to be taking him up on it. And just to make sure that Bryant was truly passing on the gig, TMZ caught up with Kobe and asked him if he wanted to join his former Lakers teammate Shaq and the rest of the crew on Inside. Bryant’s answer was a simple, “No.”
Clearly this wasn’t the most ideal situation for Bryant to answer the question, yet his fast response shows his lack of desire to work on that show. He didn’t even pause. It was just a quick no.
Bryant did take his time answering questions about Shaq’s son, Shareef, though. Kobe confirmed that he will be teaching and working out with the high school star this summer.
And while Bryant not being an analyst on Inside the NBA is a bit of bummer (he would’ve had great on-air chemistry with the rest of the crew), his decision makes some sense since he is busy making movies and talking to Hollywood big wigs. So like in his playing career, Bryant is more focused on doing things on a grander scale in retirement.