ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last night in the run-up to Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals, The Powers That Be at Turner Sports released a bingo card based around some of the common words and phrases we see and hear on “Inside the NBA.” As soon as I looked at this I searched for Charles Barkley saying, “First of all…,” and sure enough, there it was. As well as a ton of other stuff…
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — On his new version of “The Tonight Show,” Jimmy Fallon has introduced lip sync battles, where Fallon and different celebrities try to do the most accurate job of lip syncing and dancing along to various songs.
Thanks to the magic of Instagram, we can now have an NBA version of a lip sync battle, between TNT’s Shaquille O’Neal and Toronto Raptors big man Patrick Patterson.
Let’s start with Shaq Diesel, who posted this last night from San Antonio, where he was in attendance at the Spurs/Thunder Game 1, and he filmed himself giving an impromptu lip sync rendition of the National Anthem…
And then in this corner we have Patterson, who wrote in the caption, “Never Michael Jackson and drive…This is what happens when I drive for a long time…#dontjudgeme #actinafool #areuok #whyimsingle”
You’ve seen the video, now give us your vote. Who wins round one of the NBA Lip Sync Battle?
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — What’s worse, getting a painful cramp in your leg, or working with people who try to convince you to do crazy stuff while you’re suffering from that cramp? Charles Barkley had to opportunity to find out last night on “Inside the NBA.”
This video has been around for a few years, but has only recently started drawing attention. During the 1992 Playoffs, Charles Barkley, who was still an active player, came to Atlanta and sat in the Turner Studio for the night alongside Ernie Johnson. Charles making a career out of this would come later, but for a first time the Chuckster was pretty good. A few things to note:
1. Chuck’s voice sounded a bit higher back then. Yelling Chuck apparently came later.
2. Ernie Johnson seems to have a Trapper Keeper full of information on the desk.
3. That set! That music!
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Last weekend in New Orleans, I bumped into longtime NBA guard Baron Davis, who was in town for the weekend and had a camera crew following him around. Now we know why, after this video aired last night on “Inside The NBA” showing Baron trying to do some networking while in N’awlins…with mixed results, no thanks to Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — Moviegoers have seen Shaquille O’Neal in costume as Steel, the super-sized member of the Justice League. Now, in a special All-Star weekend collaboration, the entire crew from TNT’s “Inside the NBA” is teaming up with the rest of D.C. Comic’s Justice League to … play basketball? That’s right, they all link up in this special issue to fight dastardly enemies and get buckets. Will they be faster than Kenny “The Jet” Smith? More powerful than Charles Barkley playing “Who He Play For?” Able to leap Ernie Johnson‘s bow tie in a single bound?
To see all the “Inside” crew with some of the NBA’s biggest stars, check out TNT’s All-Star coverage this weekend, all weekend long. To see them with D.C.’s biggest stars, including Superman, Flash and Green Lantern, it’s all in the free comic book. How can you get one? If you’re in New Orleans for All-Star weekend, you can pick up a free copy of the comic at Jam Session.
ALL BALL NERVE CENTER — I have lived in New York City for a little over 13 years now, and in that time I have taken the New York City subway more times than I can recall. As far as transportation goes, it is actually a much faster option than taking a car or walking anywhere — because you’re underground, you get to avoid traffic, both of the car and foot variety. It also has its downsides, of course — it can be crowded, or a car can be dirty or a line can be running late. But on the whole, the subway is a much better option than anything else.
Last night Charles Barkley was in town to do color commentary on that compelling Knicks/Nets game for TNT, and to get out to Brooklyn, he rode the subway from Manhattan. Sports Illustrated‘s Richard Deitsch went along for the ride, and documented it for all of us to enjoy.
One note: I’ve had people ask me often about what Charles is like off the air, and I always explain that both Shaq and Charles are both pretty much exactly the same on the air as they are off the air. You can see that in this video, such as when the fan on the subway asks Charles who he is picking, the Nets or Knicks, and he says, “Zero plus zero is zero.”