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King Charles

Oprah Winfrey on CNN's King Charles; NBA Commissioner Adam Silver Talks With Gayle And Charles; Gayle And Charles Join NBA Commissioner Adam Silver; Gayle And Charles Sit Down With Rapper Lil Jon. Aired 10-11p ET

Aired March 20, 2024 - 22:00   ET



CHARLES BARKLEY, CNN HOST: Well, you know, you all not going anymore. Hey, thank you, Coach Saban. Thank you for retiring. You're the greatest coach ever. Thank you for retiring. You should have came to the party we had down at Auburn.

KAITLAN COLLINS, CNN HOST: It's amazing how everyone loves it now that he's left us. Charles Barkley, great to have you on. I know your show is coming up. You interviewed Oprah, and I cannot wait to watch that.

BARKLEY: It's a great -- it's going to be fun.

COLLINS: All right, good. Well, good luck. I know you got a lot --

BARKLEY: Good luck to this thing, whatever it is.

COLLINS: It's going to be a good bracket. Charles Barkley, thank you.

And we will be reaching out to Coach Saban for comment on that remark.

Thank you all so much for joining us tonight. That full interview with Oprah, moments away, King Charles starts now.

GAYLE KING, CNN HOST: Welcome, welcome. We have an absolutely packed show tonight. I'm very excited. First, I want you all to know it's the first day of spring, Charles.

BARKLEY: I can tell.

KING: You're right, because I wore yellow.

BARKLEY: That's right.

KING: Yellow is my favorite color. It says springtime. And the suit is from a company called Favorite Daughter. And so they didn't have my size, so they overnighted it to me. And I said, I really need it because I want to wear it for King Charles.

And they sent me a thing and said, oh, my God, you're interviewing King Charles? I hear that he's ill. I hope he's going to be all right. And I said --

BARKLEY: I'm fine, Gayle. I'm fine.

KING: So, I said, no, not that King Charles. Charles Barkley. They go, oh, we think he's great too. So, Charles, you're okay, right?

BARKLEY: If you talk to King Charles, that's my -- can we put Kate some real pictures out?

KING: But can you let people know you're fine?

BARKLEY: I'm fine, you all.

KING: That's the first time that's happened to me. No, no, no, it's Charles Barkley.

Anyway, March Madness is here. The NBA playoffs, basketball is my favorite sport, are barreling toward. Basketball is booming right now. We're very excited because we have NBA commissioner. He's one of the best human beings on the planet. What's his name, Charles?

BARKLEY: Adam Silver.

KING: We're talking about Adam Silver.

BARKLEY: He is an amazing person and a great commissioner.

KING: He's all of that. He's in the building tonight. And super producer and Grammy-winning artist Lil Jon, you know, yes, you know him.


KING: Okay. They used to call him the king of crunk, but now, guess what, he's got a meditation album out. He's going to tell us the story behind that. It's quite a story.

But, first, really, really psyched about this fresh off her ABC special, was called Shame Blame and the Weight-Loss Revolution. We cannot wait to bring in our first guest. We know her very well. Oprah, there's only one, as in Winfrey. And in case you missed it, this special was Monday night. Here's a very quick clip.


OPRAH WINFREY, HOST: Were you all surprised in your practices when people started losing weight?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. I mean, I think we have -- we've already been using other medications for the last 10, 20 years, but these were just a little bit more effective. I mean, we hadn't seen a --

WINFREY: 10, 20 years for diabetes?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For obesity. You know, we --

WINFREY: Where was I when this was -- where was the announcement?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, and I think, you know --

WINFREY: I go to the Cleveland Clinic and nobody told me. Oh, so you've been doing this for 20 years?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, it wasn't mainstream then. We didn't have TikTok that was our problem.



KING: We are very happy to say that Oprah is joining us tonight. Hey, Oprah, really glad you're here. Hello.

WINFREY: Hey, hey, Gayle. Hey, Charles Barkley.

BARKLEY: Hey, baby. Hey, Oprah, I just want to say this. I just want to thank you for the special. Because I started -- I gained a hundred pounds. You know, there's so many different ways to lose weight. There's no shoe size that fits all, but I gained 105 pounds when I got my hips.

And a friend of mine says, yo, man, I want you to go to this doctor, because, you know, I can't eat less and work out enough to lose a hundred pounds. And he says, try this drug. And I started taking Mounjaro and I've lost 65 pounds.

I started my journey at 355 pounds. I played at 250. And I started taking Mounjaro and I've lost -- I'm down to 285.

And let me tell you something. I couldn't work out enough. I just want to thank you for shining the light. I think what you did was fabulous. And shout out to my doctor, Dr. Jackie Pearson. I want to get -- Pearson, Dr. Jackie. But, man, I just want to thank you for shining the light on some.


Listen, everybody can't be skinny. Everybody can work out enough.

KING: Everybody doesn't want to be skinny.

BARKLEY: Yes, exactly right.

KING: Everybody doesn't want to be skinny. But, Oprah, the reason why I'm so excited to have you here, because everywhere I go, people are stopping me saying, I am so glad Oprah did this special. Listen, I know you thought long and hard about doing it. So, now that it's been a couple of days out, I wondering the reaction you're getting and how you are feeling about it?

WINFREY: Well, my most greatest reward -- thank you for saying that, Charles. The greatest reward has come from people like Charles and actually a young man who let me know that he started tearing up watching that special from the very beginning.

You know, it's interesting to me because being a woman all these years and having suffered myself up and down yo-yoing, I never think about the men because I always thought men were treated differently, Charles. I always thought if you're overweight and you're a guy -- if you're a hundred pounds overweight in your guy you are not going to be ostracized in the same way that me being overweight or women being overweight, a 100 pounds, 105 pounds. And so I think to hear from so many men who also feel a sense of freedom and liberation to now make a choice that they feel is healthier for them has been the most rewarding for me.

For me, you know, I was debating whether to do it or not because you know you get trolls for everything and everybody has something to say about it. But the risks -- the benefit of people finally recognizing that obesity is a disease far outweigh to me any criticism that I would receive for doing it and also people no longer blaming themselves for something that you cannot control in your brain.

When the doctor said on that show that it's like holding your breath underwater and trying not to rise, to me, that is the greatest metaphor because all these years, I realized that's what I've been doing. You go on the diet, you're trying to not rise and then you rise again and you can't even understand why. And before you know it, you are 10 pounds, 20 pounds 30 pounds.

And all of us have done this, who have this, is an issue. You have your limit. Yes, I have my limit. I'm not going to go over a certain number. Then you go over that number than you say I'm not going to go over five pounds over there.

And to know that you're always going to back because, if you have the propensity for it, if you carry the marker for that's what's going to happen in your body, and somebody else's body, it may be different.

And so the one thing I wanted people to --

KING: That's what I think is so important, that I think, for a lot of people, they didn't realize that it's a thing with the brain. I had we pulled some of the comments, I'm a smart person, why can't I figure this out, somebody said. We've been blamed this whole time for being lazy, gluttonous and undisciplined. It wasn't our stomach. It was our brain. I got the wake-up call I needed.

And I think that you should talk about that. You made on the show the analogy to alcoholism and the spectrum of what it is.


KING: That to me was very revelatory, yes.

WINFREY: Well, years ago, as you know, Gayle, in the Oprah show in late 80s, early 90s, we were doing a lot of shows about alcoholism. And people were saying then the same thing they're saying now, you know, just put the food down, they were saying just put a bottle down, because nobody understood that, for some people, not everybody who drinks or overdrinks, becomes an alcoholic. But if you carry the marker or the gene that has -- that allows alcoholism to flourish with you, you become -- you then develop alcoholism. Not everybody who overdrinks, because I can drink under the table and not.

KING: Yes, she's not lying. Tequila shots, anyone? Yes.

WINFREY: I can have tequila, almost anybody, and it's not an issue for me. But I can't if I'm doing the same thing with donuts or, you know, fatty things, up until this Christmas, every Christmas of my life, I gained seven to eight pounds.

And so to be able to have people understand -- so I had three goals. Number one, people understand and obesity is a disease. And so stop blaming yourself for something that's in your brain. Stop shaming yourself and other people for that, and also to explain what the drugs actually do.

So, I want to say this because we take an hour and 14 minutes extra and had to cut that out. And so it was really important for me for people to understand. All the people who are saying that people like myself and you, Charles, are taking this medicine from other people, we are not, because there are -- there's Zepbound, there is Mounjaro, there's Wegovy, there's Ozempic.

So, both companies that we had on produce medications that are just for obesity. And the reason why obesity and the obesity drug and diabetes drug are called something different is because your insurance pays for the diabetes drugs, if you have diabetes, it does not pay for the weight loss version of that drug.


So, nobody's taking drugs away from anybody else or medications away from everybody else because there is specifically an obesity medication.

KING: But this is the thing, Charles.

BARKLEY: Now, hold on, Gayle. First of all, I mean, Oprah, I just want to say you, you know, I already love you, I love you more because we can go out and drink tequila, tequila. Anytime I go out with this woman, she don't even drink. She is no fun, whatsoever.

WINFREY: No. Listen, the last big party we were at, I swear, she asked for a Shirley Temple and you shouldn't be sure to put a cherry in that. I mean, it has no qualms about asking for it.

KING: No, I don't.

WINFREY: Listen we, we we're at Tina Turner's wedding and she asks for milk.

KING: Okay, Oprah. Okay, okay, because I like milk with my cake.

But, Charles, you were saying --

BARKLEY: No. I told --

KING: There's no need to talk about that. I want to talk about you.

BARKLEY: I know.

KING: I want to talk about you, Charles.

BARKLEY: So, my doctor told me, she says, Chuck, ain't no fat old people. And she says, if you don't get in shape, she says, they're just fat older people, but they got a lot of health risks and things like that. And I said, you know, at the time when I started, I was like 60 years old, I said, I can't lose a hundred pounds in system unless I starve myself to death and don't do anything.

And I she says, a friend of mine, B. Duncan (ph), had lost a bunch of weight. I said, what happened? He says, I'm taking Mounjaro. And I went Dr. Pearson did all the vitals, and you want to make sure, because you need that. Like we don't want -- and I tell people you just don't want to just go to any old witch doctors start taking stuff. They did all the vitals, checked my heart and checked my blood and make sure everything was good.

KING: Were you hesitant to take it?

BARKLEY: No, because I didn't -- no, I want to be here. I don't know. Listen --

KING: Oprah, what Charles was telling us in high school, he was known as a fat kid in high school. His email, by the way, is fat (BLEEP). I hate that that's his email. That's a whole another issue. This email is fat (BLEEP) whatever, whatever. I won't say the rest of it.

WINFREY: Did you just give out his email, Gayle?

KING: No. No, I did not. I just said it's fat (BLEEP). You don t know what the rest of it is. I'm just saying. I do not like that.

BARKLEY: They got a pretty damn good idea.

KING: No, they don't.

BARKLEY: You are the worst.

KING: But, Charles --

BARKLEY: You don't drink, and you give my email out on national television.

KING: Okay. But, Charles, let's get back to you, because I'm thinking that here you sit today, and your taking the drug, I was wondering if you struggle with it your whole life. I was curious about that and if felt self-conscious about your weight. Because when we see you, you're Charles Barkley, you're full of confidence.


KING: Yes. You know what I am saying here.

BARKLEY: No, no, Gayle, I'm not going to --

WINFREY: (INAUDIBLE) same things.

BARKLEY: I'm not going to speak for all big people. And you can say I am not worried about my weight. I'm good. I'm good-looking. I'm just -- I don't ever want to fat shame anybody because it's a personal decision what you do with your body, but it is not healthy. It's not healthy.

When I was walking around at 355 pounds and then when I -- like when I lost the first 30 pounds, I'm like, whoa, my back don't hurt, my knees don' hurt. I can actually -- because, actually, I had to -- clearly, I had to start working out. And I' m like, man, I can work out. But I tell anybody, listen, we all got to make our own personal decision but being overweight is not healthy. It is not healthy for you.

KING: But as you sit here today, you said you have trouble getting the drug or when you said people can get it, you said -- your doctor said, you can't get it.

BARKLEY: I can't get it, because I've actually --

KING: Did you say your name was Charles Barkley?

BARKLEY: I did. But, see, there's a lot of people out here lying too. They all know the drug. They just won't admit it. Ain't no shame in taking drugs. If they can help you lose weight, you do it. So, I got down. I was 285. I started at 355. I've actually gained 12 pounds back because I haven't had Mounjaro in like four months. And I'm working out, but gaining 12 pounds ain't the same as gaining 60.

So, I am hoping at some point that I can get back on the drug because I want to get to 270. I played in my heyday at 250. I want to get the 270. My doctor would be like, this is a good healthy weight for you. I don't have to worry, hopefully, you know, because you got a lot of stuff going on in your body that obesity is not good for.

And like I say I don't care what it takes. I don't hold grudges to anybody. You know, I've had people got their stomach stapled. They did the bariatric thing. There's a lot of different ways, like we talked about earlier. Hey, everybody don wear the same size shoes, whatever makes you feel better.

KING: That's what I liked what you said at the end of the special. But, listen, it isn't one-size-fits-all. You have to figure out what works best for you and we need to stop blaming and criticizing and judging each other. I thought that was a point you were making.


I think if you feel like being in a bigger body is great and you don't want to do anything about that and you feel fine, that is beautiful. I really admire people who really believe that. And I also feel like if you think if you can work out and work out.

And I'm like you Charles, I couldn't work out anymore. I mean, like I can't climb any faster or run any faster. I can't -- I was down to eating one meal a day. There's nothing else I can do. So, if whatever works for you, I think we, one of the reasons I wanted to do it is that let people make their own choices for their health and wellbeing. So -- and also to just let people know because there's so many people in all these places where there are food deserts.

The next big special or conversation is going to be about costs because I want to know why the people in Canada are paying $250 in people in United States. Some parts are paying $1,000 a month. Some people are paying $2,000. So, it needs to be --

KING: Wait, wait, wait. They're paying $250 in Canada for the same thing?

WINFREY: For the same thing for the same thing, yes, yes. I talked to a guy who was paying $250 for the same thing and nobody can explain to me why they're paying less than everybody else in the country.

So, first of, all I think the insurance companies have to have to start to recognize that obesity is a disease. The CDC says it. The American Medical Association says it. The World Health Organization says it. Association of Pediatrics says it. All agree that, 2013, obesity -- since 2013, it's been declared a disease. If that is the case then those drugs need to be covered by insurance companies. That's what I think.

BARKLEY: You know, obviously, and I hope I don't piss anybody out, but it's a serious --

KING: Which means you're going to piss people off.

BARKLEY: In the black community. In the black community, health care, obesity, they are real issues. Why are we so afraid to address our health and obesity in the black community?

WINFREY: You're asking me that question?

BARKLEY: Yes. It's the only three people out here. You're the smartest one out of the three.

KING: Listen, I'm not even going to be offended. I'm not even going to be offended.

WINFREY: You're asking me that question?

KING: But the statistics say that. The statistics say that.

WINFREY: This is the thing. I think that a lot of people, first of all, we're not aware of what these medications can actually do. Because I just got four days ago an email from a cousin who said, asking me, did I want to go on a carb sugar fast with her for 21 days? And I was like, hell no, that is not the answer.

KING: Yes.

WINFREY: Let me talk to you about something else that might be more helpful to you. So, I think that in a lot of places in the United States still, because you all in New York, East Coast, West Coast, all those people had access to the medications. There are a lot of people in the other parts of our country who weren't even aware of what's available and what is not available.

So, I think getting exposure in those places where people do not have access, that's the next big conversation. Access to people who don't have it, that means black people and brown people and underserved communities, and also getting the costs down so that more people can afford it and have the availability to improve their health. That's the goal.

KING: All right. Oprah, we thank you. And maybe you can help Charles Barkley because clearly he's having trouble getting some open-nosed people.

BARKLEY: No. We're going out drinking without you, without you, Gayle.

WINFREY: Hey, Charles, hey, Charles, Stephen (ph) doesn't drink either.

BARKLEY: What in the world coming to? Hey, hey, tequila's on, hey, hey, tequila's on me, Oprah.

WINFREY: Stephen doesn't drink. So, all these -- yes, okay, tequila is on you. All these years, I've been hanging out with Stephen and Gayle. I'm the only one drinking ever.

BARKLEY: Hey, email me, you got it.


KING: Oprah, thank you, and for those of you -- thanks a lot, Oprah, thank you.

BARKLEY: Thank you.

KING: Bye-bye.

For those of you who missed Oprah's special, you can see it on Hulu, it's running now. Charles and I both highly recommend it.

BARKLEY: Yes, please go to Hulu. It's unbelievable.

KING: We've got a lot more to get to tonight, including NBA commissioner, I just adore him, his name is Adam Silver. Charles, do you have anything you want to talk to the commissioner about?

BARKLEY: A couple of things.

KING: A couple of things.

BARKLEY: But I tell you what, he's an amazing man and a great commissioner.

KING: He really is.

You're watching King Charles. We'll be right back.



KING: Yes. We got a lot of LeBron James and a couple of chooks out there, too. We welcome you back.

Less than a month left before the NBA regular season ends and the playoffs begin one of the best times of year, which means it's a perfect time to talk to a man he even knew Charles Barkley would be here, and he came anyway.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, we welcome, Adam. It's always good to see you. Thank you.

ADAM SILVER, NBA COMMISSIONER: Can I ask a question before we talk about basketball?

KING: Yes, you can.

SILVER: Because I watched that last segment. Honestly, I don't understand why you can't get that drug anymore.

KING: I think that's interesting --

SILVER: No. But so -- but everybody's on now. So why can't you get it?

BARKLEY: Well, because I think you have to keep raising your prescription. And I'm at a level that they'd probably make the least of it. That's just my own observation. But I'm going to tell you, I must stay on the target to 270 because I just want to be, number one, alive, but I want to be healthy.


And gaining 100 pounds is not healthy for anybody. Like I said, I'm going to lose 80. And like I say, I feel really good, but --

KING: But I was surprised, too, Adam, that he can't get it.

SILVER: And, honestly, I've known you for over 30 years since you played in the league and you look great. And whatever you do --

BARKLEY: Listen, and I don't -- and I tell people listen you we all get to make our own decision of how we want to look and I don't shame fat people, whatever, whatever, but I just feel so much better physically but also because we almost tried to mentally.

KING: Yes, yes, yes.

BARKLEY: Mentally, because everybody said, well, I feel good even though I'm bigger. I said, no, no, no, man. I feel so much better mentally. I mean, I'm almost getting to the point where I can walk around the house naked.

KING: Oh, no. Oh no, my eyes. My eyes.

SILVER: Watch the Oprah afternoon show. We can get him that prescription somehow.

KING: Shall we talk to the commissioner of basketball?

BARKLEY: Yes, okay. So, you know, this is this is almost the best time of the year for basketball. We start March Madness tomorrow and then we go right to the NBA playoffs. You got to be excited. I wrote down a couple names, Shae Gilgeous-Alexander, Anthony Edwards, obviously Luka. You know, Steph and LeBron have carried the league the last 10, 15 years, but you got to be excited by some of the young guys going into the playoffs this year.

SILVER: Yes. You know, I'm glad you mentioned those two, Shae Gilgeous and Anthony Edwards, because Oklahoma City and Minnesota, those teams are up and coming. I feel like Luka Doncic, some of the other young players, Giannis, obviously some others are getting a lot of attention. Those guys for people who love the league to tune into their games, because they're just now, I think, breaking through.

I mean, people in the basketball community know them, but I think casual fans are starting to realize who those guys are. And you're right, that next generation, there's a group of international players, a group of U.S. players who are off the charts.

And that's what's so great about this game that, you know, from that's who you were, obviously, when you played, and then when Charles retired, and Mike retired, people said, what's going to happen next, and then they just come up.

And what's so incredible now about what's happening in the league even, I mean, I think you were on the Dream Team, of course, 1992, and that was the turning point, right, of the international game, those guys coming over to where we are now, where rough, you know, we're getting close to 30 percent of the league or players born outside the United States, the last five -- 30 percent, last five MVP, players born outside the United States. And we have players now from roughly 45 different countries in the league. So, it's truly the global game.

But, honestly, thanks to Charles and that group, and, I mean, you and I remember, you know, same generation that that Barcelona Olympics in 1992 is right when I joined the league. That was the turning point, I think, for global basketball. And so thank you.

BARKLEY: It's been a blessing. You know I love basketball because it's given me every single thing in my life. I grew up in a small town in Alabama and now I'm sitting up here in New York City with the commissioner and Gayle King. So, I love basketball for that reason.

You know, one of the suggestions, you know the All-Star game didn't go well. It's been kind of fluid the last few years. KING: See, I thought it went well, and then I came back to work that I said, I thought it was a great time because you know I love that event, Charles. I was like, no, I didn't think it went well. I did.

BARKLEY: Well, it wasn't a plea appeasing to the fans. Have you ever considered the United States against the world?

SILVER: No, it's true. And speaking of Barcelona, so we thought a lot about that, and I think our feeling going into Indiana for the All- Star Game this year, and you're obviously both there, was we had one more opportunity to go, in essence, back to basketball, that Larry Bird was sort of our honorary captain. You think of basketball, Larry Bird, Indiana, we'd gone back to the traditional East vs. West format. We'd moved away from that draft we were doing the last several years. We'd done those sort of kind of like special endings so we went back to 48-minute game. We talked to players before the game.

And you're right. I mean, I had fun. I think fans had fun.

BARKLEY: It was a great weekend.

SILVER: And it was a great weekend, but it wasn't a basketball game.

And had I not seen what happened this year, I think we were ready to do U.S. vs. international. I'm just wondering now, and it's a good conversation to have, whether this generation of players, and even -- and the teams are complicit of this too, because nobody wants them to play hard at the All-Star Game.

KING: Nobody wants them to get hurt.

SILVER: Nobody wants them to get hurt. They see it as a mid-season break. I think of something that was a huge attraction, for example, Sabrina against Steph.

KING: Steph Curry and Sabrina. That was my favorite. That was a highlight.

SILVER: I mean, it says so much about the game. I think of, again, our generation. Billie Jean King, Bobby Riggs, what was the battle of the sexes? This was the opposite. This was, as Sabrina said, just two great shooters out on the floor.

So, I think maybe as opposed to trying to create a super competitive basketball game, which I'm not sure the teams or the players really want at that moment, we should do more fun.

KING: I was going to say, (INAUDIBLE) to it?

SILVER: Well, it's interesting.

I've talked -- intriguing, that too. I've talked to one of the players after the game. And it wasn't -- I didn't get the sense that they went out there and said, well, we know what the league wants, we know they want us, TNT wants us to play hard, but we're just not going to do it. I think it's just sort of, once they got out there, I think particularly young players, they see it as, again, a mid-season break, an opportunity to have fun, an opportunity to take break from a very long season. I mean, we roughly have 1,300 games over the course of the year, all incredibly competitive games, and I think they see that as something different.


They see it, I mean, there's always an entertainment aspect to our league, and I think it shifted from when you were a player, and I think to the point where, when I saw the popularity of Steph vs. Sabrina, see what's happened in the women's game, that we should just be looking to do different things and just make it a celebration of basketball. I mean, we're going to look at U.S. vs. International. I just think maybe it would pass that point where we're going to play a truly competitive game, and it's, by the way, it's happened in other sports.

KING: Especially if the players aren't into it, but that Sabrina-Steph Curry thing, that was such a highlight. Everybody, everybody was engaged in that. Can't you see that happening again with Caitlin next year?

SILVER: Well, one, I just think even, you know, so Sabrina's from the Bay Area, you know, the All-Star game is in San Francisco next year, you know, of course Steph is there, so I ran into both of them the next day, I said, what do you think, they're like, game on for next year, but they both, they want to have best of three, which I thought was really interesting.

KING: They both wanted best of three.

SILVER: They were both nervous. I mean, they're two of the greatest shooters in the world. It's a lot of pressure when it's one round, you know, you just sort of, you're off a little bit, so they want to do it again, but I'm sure we'll be doing, integrating some other WNBA players, you know, obviously everybody's excited about Caitlin coming into the league, but there's some obviously great talent in the WNBA right now.

BARKLEY: You know, there's a lot of nervousness at TNT and ESPN. We're your partners in the NBA. We know that the bidding's coming up and Amazon, Apple and NBC are going to make a play. You have to, and I told Gayle, I said, you technically work for the owners, but you've been very friendly to the players. How do you balance that when you're trying to negotiate a new television deal? Like, I want to make my owners happy.

KING: To keep both sides happy, you mean?

BARKLEY: Which is impossible.

KING: Is it?

BARKLEY: How do you judge that?

SILVER: Well, first of all, in terms of owners and players, I think we have a great partnership in the league and we have for years. You know, frankly, when I'm sitting down to talk about television media, that I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't think of the fans first.

I mean, there are consumers. If we don't find a way to present our game on networks where people can find and present in a place where they produce it the way you and your colleagues do at TNT, you know, and great job that ESPN does, people aren't going to watch it.

So the players and the owners have a partnership. You know how our cap system works. It's, in essence, a revenue sharing system. And it's a fantastic model because everybody's incentive. In essence, it's a 50- 50 split.

But as I say to the players and to my bosses, who are the owners, that there's so much competition these days in media. I mean, just think of what's going on at TNT in terms of changes in cable, what's happening at CNN, and everything is moving digitally. So as we're looking out the next decade, we've got to think about how we're going to produce and present our games in a way where they're going to be easily accessible.

Because look, a lot of people, you must talk to fans all the time who don't get cable. And they feast on social media. And our players are incredibly popular there. But it's not a substitute for watching live games. And the thing that really excites me, there's been a lot of talk about games, in essence, being ported over to digital platforms. And you saw it with NFL, with NBC, and Peacock. Amazon has games now, too. But in essence, they're still the same games. It's the same feet of the game.

What's really exciting to me, as you move to these digital platforms, it creates opportunities to do things unimaginable before in traditional television. I mean, frankly, for people who do want to bet, and you talk about that, you can do that. If you want nothing to do with that, that's fine. For people who want to buy the shoes the players are wearing, that the jerseys are wearing, for people who want to be part of a larger community, for people who want different languages, different dialects, for people who want to listen to commentary from Charles, not just during the break, but throughout the game, or people want Mike Breen to be doing play-by-play, or just to hear a group of people who are just fans having fun watching the game.

So I think production is going to change dramatically over the next several years. And the other part about our game being global. I mean, even now, 75 percent of our viewership comes from outside the United States. Isn't that incredible?

KING: That is incredible.

SILVER: Whether it's Max, your company, or whether it's Netflix or ESPN Plus going global, we're a really unique sport in that we have fans all over the world. We're distributed to 215 countries and territories now, but it's not always so accessible when you're network-to-network.

Think of where Netflix is growing on a global basis, and I think 260 million subscribers, and most of that growth now is coming globally.

So we're at a really interesting time from a media standpoint.


BARKLEY: So I'm old, not as old as Gayle. I remember --

KING: I'm not even offended.

BARKLEY: No, I remember vividly when the first time an NBA player made a million dollars. And I'm talking Dr. J, Moses, Maurice Cheeks, and Andrew Toney, and those guys. We're walking around high-fiving each other.

We couldn't believe that an NBA player made a million dollars.

Now the average salary is right around 10 million. Is there a ceiling or breaking point? What is like -- First of all, God bless all these guys making as much money as they want to, but--

KING: Yeah, you don't begrudge that.

BARKLEY: I do not begrudge it at all.

KING: Yeah, you don't begrudge that, yeah.

BARKLEY: Like, we're going to have guys making 80, 90 million dollars a year coming up soon. I want to know how the fans, do you concern yourself about how the fans are going to react to an NBA player making 90 million dollars a year?

KING: It also opens up the gambling conversation, too, when you see people making that much money and fans being able to--

SILVER: Yeah, well, just to sort of begin with the money for the players.

KING: Yeah.

SILVER: The same before, it's a revenue sharing system between the teams and the players. So as we generate more revenue, players make more money. So I remember as a kid, too, even long before a million dollars, and grew up in New York as a Yankee fan, and people would say, I can't believe players can make 200,000 and 300,000. So they're entertainers. I don't think any more than fans begrudge Beyonce or Taylor Swift.

To me, if you're generating the interest from the fans, you deserve to make what the market will bear. At the same time, whether it's the owners of the teams or the people producing the games, as I'm constantly reminding the players, but it requires a whole ecosystem to support you. I mean, sometimes I use the analogy, it's like when you watch a movie and they're the stars you see on the screen, but then you could sit there for 15 minutes and watching the credits because all those people are necessary. And that's kind of like the NBA. There's tens of thousands of people

who are employed by the league and the teams and the related businesses all to produce this game.

So to the extent that interest continues to grow, and I think basketball is the fastest growing sport in the world, and we're unique in terms of the NBA, in terms of global appeal, that there's no reason player salaries shouldn't continue to grow. And I think that's healthy.

And again, in terms of --

KING: Players will like that answer, Adam.

SILVER: But I also think in terms of what fans think, again, do people begrudge Taylor Swift or Beyonce or Jay-Z or any great entertainer? Or by the way, you, you're earning a nice living too. I'm just saying like I think--

KING: Yes, you're earning a nice living.

SILVER: No, but I think --

BARKLEY: I'm just trying to get engaged.

SILVER: No, I just think that people respect these. The thing about NBA players, you were mentioning some earlier, they have unique talent on the planet. And when you have a unique talent out of 8 billion people on the planet, you're going to be able to command outsize salaries. I think what bothers people, back to the all-star game, and this troubles me as well, and it sort of breaks down generationally.

I think, and I accept responsibility as the commissioner of the league. I think we should have known at this point for an all-star game, as I started to say before. The NFL, Pro Bowl, moved it to flag football. There's just a recognition it's a different time.

But when you put those players out there in an all-star game, and it doesn't look like they're giving full effort, I don't think fans would have cared whether they're making a million or 10 million or 30 million. They're like, they're disappointed.

KING: They want to see a good game.

SILVER: And I think, and the worst part is like talking to players, both before the game and after the game, they know that too. They're smart guys.

But it's kind of, it's just, they're sort of all looking at each other, and it's just not happening. Which is why we got to, you know, the league, night in, night out, is so competitive now.

You know, you started to ask me before, we're heading towards the playoffs now. You know, last year, with like two weeks to go, we still had something like 26 out of 30 teams were still competing for playoff spots. I mean, look what's happening in college basketball now. Like to me, you have, you know, tonight you have on other networks, you know, you have the play-in for the college tournament is on tonight on one of your networks.

You have, you know, you have NBA games on ESPN tonight. There's so much interest in the college tournament. There's more parody in college than ever before. I mean, I love what's happening around basketball, and it's a growing sport, and there continues to be so much opportunity out there.

KING: I still love this sport. You mentioned Taylor Swift. I just have to say this. When she blew up the NFL in ways that they couldn't even totally anticipate, was there a small part of you, Adam, that thought, God, I wish she was dating an NBA player? Wasn't there a small part of you that thought that?

SILVER: A big part.

BARKLEY: Oh, a big part.

KING: Thank you, Commissioner Adam. Thank you so much.

SILVER: Thank you very much.

BARKLEY: Thank you.

KING: When we come back, when we come back, Lil John will join us on set. He's now doing guided meditations, and he's great. We'll be right back. Thank you, Adam.

SILVER: That was so much fun.

KING: Yes, that was.

BARKLEY: Good to see you, my brother.




KING: Never gets old. It never gets old. That's Atlanta's own Lil Jon performing "Turn Down For What" at the Super Bowl with Usher. You all remember that.

That performance catapulted one of his classics. Yeah, Sage.


KING: Yeah. To the top of two Bill, there you go, two Billboard charts last month, 20 years after its release. Okay.


BARKLEY: What? You know, I got a question for you. Before we get serious for a second, what type of pressure did you feel for the Super Bowl? It's right up there with the Oscars. They're the two most watched events in the world. Did you feel pressure?

LIL JON, GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING ARTIST AND PRODUCER: I don't ever get nervous, because I'm manifesting what's going to happen when it goes right, and all of the great things are going to happen afterwards. So, for me, nervousness turns into, when I kill this show, all of these good things are going to happen.


LIL JON: And so I was like an athlete on the sideline waiting for my turn to go out. I was literally like --

BARKLEY: Yeah, but let me tell you something.

KING: And you did kill it, Jon. You did kill it.

BARKLEY: As a jock.

KING: You did kill it.

BARKLEY: The games get bigger and whatever. You ain't nervous, scared. You're ready for it to happen, but you feel a type of way.

LIL JON: I did not. I never. I've been on stages with hundreds of thousands of people.

I'm on a show with y'all and Oprah tonight. I ain't never got on a show with Oprah. I think somebody going to be nervous, but no, not me. We come in here to do the job.

KING: That's because he's ready. But now, listen to what Lil Jon is doing now.

The human party starter, a man once known as the King of Crunk, sounds like this.


LIL JON: Hey, it's Lil Jon. I'd like to welcome you to "Total Meditation".


KING: That is Lil' John.

LIL JON: Why y'all laughing? This is serious stuff.

KING: He used to tell you to shake it like a salt shaker, but now he's guiding you to peace and calm with his new album, "Total Meditation". We want you to welcome again, music superstar, a super producer. We're going to call you Serenity Guru Lil Jon. Because Lil Jon, before the show went out, we were out in the streets talking to people and we said, you know he's doing a "Total Meditation" album. People said, no, I can't understand. I can't understand it. But it really does work.

BARKLEY: Right. KING: And so why did you decide at this stage in your career that you

were going to do this? Because you seem like the most unlikely person. That doesn't surprise you that's a reaction.

LIL JON: Well, yeah, it doesn't surprise me, but I mean, I was turning 50 years old. A lot of things going on in my life, a lot of life changes, health issues. You have to go get that colonoscopy and you're worried about your health.

KING: Say it proudly.

LIL JON: Yeah. I mean, health is wealth. Health is everything. You want to be here for a long time, just like Charles was saying earlier.

So the meditation was something I started to do to help me deal with the issues that I was dealing with in my life. And it really getting some peace--

KING: Personal issues, right?

LIL JON: Yes. Personal issues.

KING: Personal issues.

LIL JON: It gave me some peace, some calmness, and it calmed my mind and it changed my way of thinking. And so around that time, I met Kabir Segal, who is the producer of the album, and it was like perfect timing because I was already really diving into this meditation space, meditating every day.

And we put together this album with a bunch of more albums that are not released yet, but we put together this and it was great because once it was done, before it was done and I was just going about my life, I was feeling like I was supposed to be doing something. I didn't know what it was that I was supposed to be doing.

And then after we finished the album, I thought about it and I was like, I'm supposed to be helping people.

KING: But were you reluctant to do it? Did you get support in the community for doing this?

LIL JON: Nobody knew. We did this two years ago.

KING: You didn't tell people.

LIL JON: Timing was right to put it out after Super Bowl. We had been sitting on it. We had been trying to find a place for the album to come out and we found a home with a Tiger Turn and BMG and it was perfect timing and here it is.

BARKLEY: Why do you think we, we, we as black people, number one, we never go to the doctor until it's too late. But why are you, we afraid to talk about mental health in our community?

LIL JON: I think it's the way we've been raised and I think generations of black folks, oh, you know, have just been taught to just like, just man up, get over it, deal with it. Like you'll be all right. You know, instead of addressing the issues and moving forward, we just kind of put them in a closet and never deal with it.

And once you deal with it and you understand your issue, that's how you can get past them and move on.

KING: But did you have trouble accepting your own mental health issues or your own anxiety or whatever you were battling?


LIL JON: No. With meditation, you start to have more inner peace and you start to have reflection and you look in that mirror at yourself and you have to man up and say, I was at fault here or there and I take responsibility, you know, and then it's basically like I just said, you're dealing with it, you're facing these fears and then you can process them and move on.

BARKLEY: I just want to say, man, it's something that we really needed in the black community. Now, I want to hope you keep coming on shows talking about it because first of all, men never talk about anything. But first of all, in the black community, we should go to the doctor a lot more and talk about our issues.

I just want to say thank you, man. I hope everything. Gayle was bragging about you all day. She said he was so awesome to be on her show today. And I said, I said, man, I can't wait. So thank you.

LIL JON: Oh, thank you.

KING: But it's your voice. I think what gets me is people are surprised that the guy goes, yeah.


KING: Okay. Can do that. Can do that, Lil Jon. What do you say to people that are like that? I don't know.

LIL JON: I mean, I can't scream all the time. I have to talk regular sometimes. So yeah, of course I can do it. And of course, I'm a regular person like everybody else. I had to deal with, you know, problems in life too.

You know, y'all don't see it because I'm the party guy.

BARKLEY: That's important. That's important. Because people think when you're rich and famous, like you don't have issues. I'm like, yes, hell we do. Exactly.

KING: Thank you, Jonathan. Thank you. "King Charles" will be right back.

Seriously, go on the incline.

BARKLEY: Yeah. That's how you burn the full calories. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)


KING: I know. Time flies when you're having fun. You have Oprah, you have Adam Silver, you have Lil Jon. We got to go. Where we go? Do you want to share with the class your email again?

BARKLEY: Hey, I'll see y'all later. Y'all can see Gayle in the morning on "CBS Mornings" at 7am. Good night.

KING: Bye. Good night.