NBA legend Charles Barkley was known for his stellar play on the court, but it's hard to argue his legacy won't in part be held in his work as part of Inside The NBA. Barkley is not afraid to say anything about anything or to anyone, though it appears TNT has officially put the hammer down on one of his more famous feuds. According to the legend himself, he's no longer allowed to mention the "big women of San Antonio" in future rants.
Charles Barkley revealed the feud is over in a recent interview with Washington D.C.'s The Fan (via Viral Sports) that TNT and the higher-ups at Turner told him he had to stop with the insults towards the big women of San Antonio, a common trope he'd bring up on Inside the NBA. Barkley spoke about the conversation he had with the network and how he felt about it when TNT put the kibosh on his common side rant.
If you crack a joke the wrong way they’re like, ‘Oh, no, no, no, you crossed the line.’ I mean, they won’t even let me talk about San Antonio anymore! When I’m always talking about their big ole women down in San Antonio they’re like, ‘Charles, we got one lady [who] wrote an article.’ I’m like, 'First of all, I didn’t call anybody personally fat in San Antonio; I was just joking around. . .We’ve been having fun with this for probably 10–15 years. When we go to San Antonio; the people are having a blast with it. The people in San Antonio had T-shirts made up.
Charles Barkley doesn't believe he did anything wrong because, as he said, he never named any specific women in San Antonio when he'd crack his jokes. In his mind, it was just a recurring gag that Inside The NBA fans would know has been a part of the show for a long time. Part of the fun was the confusion over why Barkley had this weird grudge against a certain section of the San Antonio population as well as the fact that Barkley would resurface the feud every so often.
Of course, there's also no denying that the joke was mean-spirited in nature, despite the fact that Barkley never mentioned any single person by name. It's possible the powers that be wanted to protect Charles Barkley from any others taking issue as well as simply protect the award-winning sports program Inside The NBA if the joke went too far. The good news is that Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, and the great Shaquille O'Neal can all still banter and take the piss out of each other along with Sir Charles. Losing one joke won't change that.
For what it's worth, someone on the internet one time did a deep dive into Charles Barkley's claims about the women of San Antonio and whether or not they were true. In the end, their analysis did pull up some rather interesting statistics, perhaps the most notable one of all being that between 1983 to 1998, Barkley went 4-19 in games he played in San Antonio. While no official conclusions can be drawn from the data, it's possible that Barkley's joke is rooted in some secret grudge against San Antonio from his days as a player. At least that's my hypothesis.
We may never know the real reason behind Charles Barkley's longtime joke, but we will probably not be hearing any more slander about the women of San Antonio on Inside The NBA. In the meantime, I'm sure Barkley will find another recurring gag to work into episodes of the analysis show.