I’d argue there are scripted television shows that have run on television for multiple seasons that don’t even come close to being as consistently entertaining as the national treasure that is Inside the NBA.
The quartet comprised of Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Shaquille O’Neal, and Charles Barkley has established some absolutely unreal chemistry thanks to the many years they’ve spent sharing a desk while covering basketball on TNT, and while you could argue the analysis occasionally leaves a bit to be desired, I personally wouldn’t have it any other way.
Serious NBA Fans may take issue with the general lack of professionalism that routinely involves Johnson trying to keep Shaq and Chuck in line, but that fairly monumental task is much easier said than done.
That reality was highlighted once again thanks to what unfolded on Tuesday night during a segment that was supposed to revolve around the impact Celtics guard Derrick White has had in Boston’s playoff series with the Hawks.
White has averaged 25 points a game over the course of the first two contests in that postseason showdown and was showered with the “MVP” chant that broke out inside TD Garden during his team’s 119-106 victory over the Hawks, which gave the Celtics a 2-0 lead in the series.
However, Shaq and Barkley were much more interested in discussing White’s hairline during a portion of the program where Johnson once again tried (and largely) failed to keep things on track.
Charles Barkley and Shaq cracked up for minutes over Derrick White's hairline early Wednesday morning. "Stephen A. play for the Celtics! He do First Take in the morning and play for the Celtics, that dude's going to be tired!'" pic.twitter.com/c6Sg574LkN
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) April 19, 2023
Those two troublemakers cackled like a couple of middle schoolers during a segment where Stephen A. Smith caught a stray from Barkley by comparing the talking head’s hairline to White’s, saying, “He does First Take in the morning and plays for the Celtics, that dude’s gonna be tired.”
Shaq also channeled his inner Lou Rawls by crooning “You’ll never find a hairline like mine” before order was somewhat restored—but if history is any indication, it’s only a matter of time until the duo derails Inside the NBA with their antics yet again.