“Imma throw gasoline on the fire”


Thanks to the dynamic “Inside the NBA” crew of Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Kenny “The Jet” Smith and Ernie Johnson, the program has won numerous awards. Whether the crew is breaking down a thrilling night of on-court action or they’re challenging one another to hilarious competitions, they continue to deliver TV gold.

The group was recently the subject of a documentary called “The Inside Story,” which gave fans a behind-the-curtain look at the four’s relationship. Over the years, the crew has continued to find their own unique ways to make a mark on the program. Ernie Johnson serves as the sage voice of reason, taking the lead as the facilitator frequently.

Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal like to take shots at one another and provide comedic relief. And Kenny “The Jet” Smith … well, besides his dominant streak as Big Board champion, his job is to add just the right amount of fuel to the fire on any given night when Shaq and Chuck get out of hand.

“That’s my job, Imma throw gasoline on the fire, but I also know I’m in charge of the extinguisher too,” Smith said. “So, when it gets to that point and their egos are here, here, absolutely, I know my job at times is to take the pressure off of it being about Chuck and him (Shaq) and make it about me and him, or make it about me and Chuck at times, too, so it’s not where it’s them.

“Because they are here, and they’re ready to come, and then five minutes later we’re in the back. They’re picking each other up, Shaq is like, ‘I bet I can lift you up. I bet I can bench press you, five minutes after they were ready to just … That’s what we know.We grew up in that. We understand that that is not long-lasting, but it’s real!”


You can see his comments in the video above on “The Draymond Green Show,” beginning at the 54-minute mark.

Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith & Ernie Johnson, more than coworkers

While it’s no secret that the four men like to have fun at one another’s expense more often than not, they’re more than just coworkers. As Kenny Smith pointed out on “The Draymond Green Show,” no matter how real and intense the arguing gets on-set, off-set they’re a family.

Gonzaga v North Carolina
Gonzaga v North Carolina

During “The Inside Story,” Ernie Johnson reflected on having to tell the team that he was going to be undergoing treatment for cancer. As he recalled, he wanted to make sure that his diagnosis didn’t change the dynamic of the show. Now that he was going through something in his personal life, he didn’t want the rest of the crew to treat him any differently.

As Kenny revealed, that was the first time he had ever cried while at TNT. In typical “Inside the NBA” fashion, though, as the men shared an emotional moment, O’Neal chimed in with a joke that left them all laughing.

Fortunately, with Barkley recently extending his contract, it seems as though the program isn’t going anywhere any time soon.


Above, you can see Johnson talking about how he battled through cancer in the video.

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein

Article SourceMykhel

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