Ernie Johnson Rumors
Turner Sports says its “Inside the NBA” studio team will call a Christmas night game in Los Angeles along with its other usual duties. Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson will be at Staples Center for the Lakers’ game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. They will call the nightcap of the league’s five-game holiday schedule in addition to their regular pregame, halftime and postgame coverage.
On an intense moment with Charles Barkley on set during commercial: Ernie Johnson: We’re in the playoffs and we had taken the show on the road and what I have instead of carrying a big old format of the show in front of me with the computer print out, I just kind of jot down a roadmap for the show on these 5 by 7 cards and break into first segment, second segment, third segment and then if we have to make changes – Tim Kiely who’s the producer can say hey we’re going to switch that highlight from segment two to segment three and we have some sound of Gregg Popovich on segment four so I’m jotting this stuff down so I know when we get to it what the traffic is.
Ernie Johnson: In between the third and the fourth segment, Kenny’s just like Charles I dare you to rip those cards in half. This is in a commercial break. Charles is like ‘you really think I should?’ and I said ‘Charles, this is my preparation for the show this is important to me this is my roadmap for where we’re going next. I need this stuff.’ He reaches over and rips it in half. Then we’re like 30 seconds from coming back on the air and he knew I was ticked off. I told him I said, ‘man if you do that again this hot coffee is going all over you.’ Kenny’s like ‘Man, I ain’t ever seen Ernie this hot Charles.’ We come back on the show and I just iced him out. I didn’t talk to Charles that segment. I wasn’t going to ask him a question, I was going to Kenny and Shaq with everything. Charles finally was like ‘hey, hey, hey’ I said ‘look I ain’t talking to you we had something going on here and if you want to take part in the show you won’t do that anymore.’
Did Shaq go too far with JaVale McGee? Ernie Johnson: The JaVale thing became a problem when this Twitter back and forth started. I texted Shaq in the middle of that and apparently I texted him after his mother had already texted him. I told him I said look man you’re in the Hall of Fame you don’t need to be doing this stuff. Twitter to me can be a great thing. If you use it in a positive way I think you can encourage people with that. But when it’s used for something like that it came down to it was two grown men acting like kids. Thankfully we’re able to put it behind us. Hopefully that’s all done.
The NBA made the first All-Star weekend since Craig Sager’s passing a memorable affair, expertly helmed as always by TNT’s Ernie Johnson. Sager, the longtime sideline reporter from Turner Sports who succumbed to cancer late in 2016, was the inspiration behind a slightly impromptu 3-point, half-court and eventual layup-shooting benefit at Saturday night’s All-Star festivities in New Orleans. A layup hit by Sager’s son Ryan marked a $500,000 donation made from the league and its sponsorship partners to the Sager Strong charity.
Through Sunday, according to Turner Sports PR, the clip, between the NBA on TNT’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, had 95 million social media impressions and 16 million video views. That’s the most social engagement any NBA on TNT segment has ever had. “I didn’t do this with the intention of getting response on social media,” Johnson said in an interview on Friday. “All we were doing was what everyone in this country was doing, processing this election. And the way I processed this election, because it is who I am, I had to include my spiritual take on this. That’s what’s given me perspective on this. I believe whoever is in the White House, God is in charge. That’s me. And I voiced that on TV.”