Charles Barkley And TNT Offering New Take On ‘The Great Debate’; Documentary Will Profile 6 Unique NBA GOATs

Charles Barkley AP

Last October, in honor of the league’s 75th anniversary, the NBA issued a list of what it deemed “the 75 Greatest Players in NBA History.” Since then, the list has been fodder for endless debate among fans and the purveyors of sports talk radio.

Now, one of the 75 players on that list, Hall-of-Famer and current TNT Inside the NBA analyst Charles Barkley, is offering his own unique take on the concept.

Barkley has partnered with Turner Sports to premiere The Great Debate, a documentary film that seeks to reframe the classic debate about basketball’s greatest of all time by redefining the very concept of “greatness.”

The film premieres Wednesday, May 18, at 6:30 p.m. ET — just prior to TNT’s presentation of Game 1 of the 2022 NBA Western Conference Finals — and will feature Barkley spotlighting the stories of the players who inspired him and explaining what a debate that covers 75 years of NBA history is truly about. According to producers, this project is Barkley’s love letter to his NBA heroes, past and present.

“I am so proud of this film,” says Barkley. “We’ve taken a very different approach by expanding the conversation about the GOAT to include the massive impact my top choices have made on American culture, civil rights, the business world and even our identity as a country. And it’s really entertaining too.”

Directed by Emmy Award-winner Scott Boggins, the film consists of six profiles, each centered on one of Barkley’s “greatest” players by decade, woven together by a roundtable hosted by Barkley with NBA savants Spike Lee, Jackie MacMullan and Renee Montgomery. The players’ contributions will be measured by their off-the-court accomplishments alongside their on-court heroics. 

Producing with Barkley is his long-time agent and producing partner Marc Perman of Round Mound Media, along with Marina Grasic and Jai Khanna of Oakhurst, Randy Becker of Level 4 Films, Boggins and Craig Jenest of Five Films and Robert E. Morgan of Talaria Media.