Ernie Johnson Rumors
Ernie Johnson wants you to know: It’s all real. The back-and-forths between Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal, the laughs and wisecracks and the real-time reactions to NBA player quotes? That’s what makes Inside the NBA must-watch television – all of that natural spontaneity. “You’d be amazed standing in our studio,” he told For The Win on Tuesday at the CBS Sports and Turner March Madness Media Day. “There’s one minute to air. I’m sitting there, then (Barkley, O’Neal and Kenny Smith) wander out just in time to come on the air. And that’s how we want it.”
But that means Johnson has to be the engine that keeps the show moving and on the rails. He’s heard all kinds of descriptions for his role: Ringmaster, point guard, traffic cop. The best one he’s heard? Someone came up with an apt comparison. “You’re the dad who turns around and says, ‘If I hear anymore I’m going to stop this car and turn it around,” he said.
“The reactions you get are genuine and heartfelt,” he said. “If there’s a mistake made, if someone is so in the dark on something and isn’t ready, then we all make fun of him. That’s the deal! That’s what makes it fun to be in the middle of it. Because you’ve gotta be alert and alive and it keeps it on your toes.” “We live for seeing Charles spilling something on his tie!” he added. “It’s all this stuff they said you’re not supposed to do on TV. It’s not a place to be if you’re thin skinned.”
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.’