Charles Barkley is a retired basketball player who now works as a sports analyst on television. At the height of his NBA career, he was a favorite of major corporations, earning millions of dollars in endorsement deals.
He received endorsement deals from Nike, FanDuel, T-Mobile, McDonald’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Right Guard. During his playing days, he earned a total of $40.3 million in salary alone, according to Celebrity Net Worth.
In retirement, Barkley reinvented himself as a sports pundit, hosting the popular TNT show “Inside the NBA” alongside Shaquille O’Neal, Ernie Johnson, Jr., and Kenny Smith. His work as a co-host has won him three Sports Emmy Awards.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Barkley agreed to a 5-year, $30 million contract extension with TNT to continue hosting “Inside the NBA” in 2020. He reportedly agreed to a 10-year, $100 million contract extension with TNT that will expire in October 2022.
Barkley revealed in a recent interview that his gambling habit nearly cost him his entire fortune. He told Graham Bensinger on In Depth that his gambling habit was influenced by his desire to win and make money.
“I hear all these people talk about ‘You just like the action,’ ” he explained. “No, I like the money actually, and it always sucks when you lose, but it’s a great feeling when you win.”
In the 1980s, his gambling habit caused him to lose between $10 and $20 million. He eventually decided it was time to take a step back and break his gambling streak.
“I have lost at least 10 to $15 million somewhere in there. Like I said, I have probably won a million dollars five or six times but I have lost a million dollar 10 to 20 times in the 80s,” he said.
“Yeah, no question. It got out of hand, but I quit for like two years, and I remember talking to my friends one night, [and] they said ‘Oh, gambling’s not your problem. You’re just an idiot,’” Barkley explained. “You can’t break the casino and since I developed that mentality, gambling is a lot more fun to me, to be honest with you.”
According to Celebrity Net Worth, he has a net worth of $60 million, which could have been higher but for his gambling habit.
Barkley was born on February 20, 1963 in Leeds, Alabama. His father abandoned him. His mother and stepfather raised him after his mother died in an accident when he was 11 years old. Barkley was interested in basketball in high school, but he did not make the varsity basketball team as a junior. He improved enough in his senior year to catch the attention of Auburn University’s head coach.
From 1981 to 1984, he played for Auburn while studying business management. The Philadelphia 76ers selected him fifth in the first round of the 1984 NBA Draft. He was later traded to the Phoenix Suns, where he quickly became the team’s Most Valuable Player. Later, he was traded to the Houston Rockets, where he retired.