NBA legend and sports commentator with NBA on TNT may have contracted Coronavirus while traveling for work, he shared on the air live when calling into his own show. This comes just as Barkley had risked his job after suggesting that March Madness, the NCAA tournament, be canceled.
Charles Barkley reveals he fell ill and has been self-quarantined, has taken a coronavirus test but has not yet gotten the results pic.twitter.com/yyZnZ7z0eH— gifdsports (@gifdsports) March 13, 2020
Barkley told his on-air cohosts what happened: “I spent the earlier part of the week in NYC, when I got to Atlanta yesterday I wasn’t feeling well. I talked to a couple people at Turner and a couple of doctors, and they told me to self-quarantine for the next 48 hours.”
Barkley didn’t even have time to celebrate his warning being heeded, as shortly before that it was announced that the NCAA had indeed canceled the tourney due to virus concerns. While prescient about needing the event to be canceled, Barkley wasn’t about his own diagnosis.
“I think we’re going to have to shut down March Madness until we know more.” —Charles Barkley pic.twitter.com/hfogDJlYNl— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) March 12, 2020
“I’m going to say this, and I’m probably going to get in trouble, because I work for Turner and March Madness and CBS, I think Turner Sports and CBS gotta close down March Madness, man,” Barkley said on the air Thursday (Mar. 12) morning – a day after the NBA shut down the rest of their season indefinitely.
“You can’t have these players — even if there’s no fans in the stadium — you can’t have these players breathing on each other for two weeks. Even if they’re at a hotel, they’re going to be at different cities around the country. I hate to say it — I probably shouldn’t say it because I work for CBS — I think we’re going to shut down March Madness until we know more.”
The NBA canceled all games while initially, the NCAA decided that they would continue their tournament series – just without fans. They reversed direction however, when the scope of the problem seemed to grow by the hour across the United States and the world.
At 57-years-old, Barkley is not quite yet at the age where he is subjective to more of the dangerous symptoms of the virus but he’s still understandably concerned. “I’m kind of in limbo right now,” he said. “I’m hoping it was just a bug.” When the results are released, this article will be updated.