After 20 years on the show, it is hard to imagine Inside the NBA on TNT without Charles Barkley. Today, the NBA legend and broadcasting icon turns 58. After 15 years in the NBA, the Hall of Famer hung up his boots and stepped into the booth with Ernie Johnson and Kenny “the Jet” Smith. Since then, especially once Shaquille O’Neil joined in 2011, Inside the NBA has turned into, as Barkley would say, “must-watch TV.”
In honor of his twenty years on the show, TNT and Inside the NBA dug up some ultimate vintage Charles Barkley. In a video posted to Twitter today, they brought back some of the funniest moments on the show. Considering the legend’s birthday and his time on the show, we decided to share some of our favorite moments with you as well. From not knowing how to count to wrestling with Shaq, relive some of the best laughs on NBA television.
Charles Barkley brought a lot of laughs to the show in 2000, but also a lot of controversies. As a since is time as an NBA player, he has never shied away from making a scene, whether it was lying down on the timer’s table while waiting to enter the game, or cursing on live television. While his outlandish sense of humor made Inside the NBA wildly popular, some of his off-color jokes caused a stir. With that said, these jokes benefitted the show more than hurt it by bringing attention and viewership to what used to just be a post-game show.
Charles Barkley and Shaq Bring Humor to the Air
Very few sports television shows feature hosts that have the amount of chemistry and humor as the guys on Inside the NBA. While their stats and analytics are typically on point, their humor almost always steals the show. The on-air banter, especially between Shaquille O’Neil and Charles Barkley, makes the show must-watch television. In fact, the pair of NBA legends have such a tendency to run off on tangents, their co-host Ernie Johnson has been known to use a whip sound effect on the show to reign them in.
Several of the segments on the show feed into the innate humor of Charles Barkley and the other hosts. For instance, the team typically airs a segment called “Shaqtin’ a Fool” led by Shaq this segment features clips of different NBA stars goofing around or doing silly things on the broadcast. The analysts never pass up an opportunity to make fun of each other, however, Kenny “the Jet” Smith typically finds himself on the wrong end of the jokes.
For his twenty years on the show, we thank Sir Charles Barkley for his insights, personality, and of course the laughs. Happy Birthday and we hope to see twenty more years of “must-watch TV.”