Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson covered four exciting NBA playoff games last night. As per usual, the seriousness and in-depth basketball analysis often gives way to some wacky shenanigans at the expense of usually one of the award-winning co-hosts.
Kenny Smith, who was absent a few days ago due to food poisoning, something which Charles Barkley called a lie, has been the subject of recent jokes. In one of the scenes last night, Ernie Johnson asked Smith to fix both his collar and face.
"Sir Charles” quickly jumped onto EJ’s good-natured instruction with a sharp twist:
“Put a bag over it. Put a bag over your face, that’ll fix your face!”
The North Carolina alum returned from his absence with a noticeable hairline tattoo that the NBA on TNT superstar crew would repeatedly hit on. Every time a social media comment came up regarding Smith’s hairline, the duo of Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley would just fall all over themselves in laughter.
The exchanges that commonly take place between the NBA on TNT set are not for the thin-skinned. Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson are on a different level when it comes to nasty jabs and pranks.
Sometimes two or more of the co-hosts of the NBA’s premiere show would even end up in heated arguments, but they’re all part of a day’s work. Kenny Smith is the man in the hot seat now, but things could change in the blink of an eye, particularly after Charles Barkley’s latest “guarantee.”
Charles Barkley guarantees the Phoenix Suns to win their series against the New Orleans Pelicans
On paper, the first-round series between the Phoenix Suns, who hold the best record in the NBA, and the New Orleans Pelicans seems the most lopsided. Phoenix has been asserting their dominance over the league this season after falling to the defending champion Milwaukee Bucks last year.
The Pelicans, on the other hand, are improbably in the playoffs after starting 1-12 the season. They nabbed one of their last play-in spots just a week ago and won back-to-back must-win games to enter the postseason. New Orleans looked like they would be overmatched against the juggernaut Suns.
The gritty Pelicans, however, showed incredible heart to battle against the battle-tested home team. They fought back from a huge deficit and put pressure on the Suns before vintage CP3 took over.
The closeness of the game may have others thinking that the Pelicans have a puncher’s chance to win the series. Barkley quickly shut down that notion with his now-famous guarantee.