By Harvey Hoffman

Charles Barkley is talking like he knows something the rest of us don’t.

Barkley, who works on TNT’s NBA studio show “Inside the NBA,” appeared on ESPN’s “The Paul Finebaum Show” and discussed his thoughts on the return of college football in the fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In doing so, he talked about the NBA, which needs to make a decision on its 2019-20 season much sooner:

“We’re gonna make a decision in the next week,” Barkley said about the NBA. “I’m 100 percent sure we’re going to play. I know my friends in Major League Baseball are going to play. I think that the hockey league is going to play.

“I think the pro football and the college football, they have to sit back and see how it goes for us.”

Was Barkley just speculating, or does he know something that we don’t?

“I do know this, talking to my bosses at Turner,” Barkley said. “We’re going to play basketball. It’s gonna be in Florida and (Las) Vegas, or just Florida.”

If the NBA does have firm plans to finish the season, it makes sense that the league would figure things out with its broadcast partners before making the information public.

Of course Barkley said himself that a decision is pending before stating that he’s “100 percent sure” about the fate of the season. So it’s best not to place any firm bets based on Barkley’s comments. But it’s one more sign pointing the league’s return.

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