- Charles Barkley roasted the actor Jussie Smollett on Thursday’s edition of “Inside the NBA.”
- Barkley jokingly implored Americans not to use “commit crimes with checks.”
- His cohost Shaquille O’Neal struggled to keep his composure throughout the episode.
TNT’s “Inside the NBA” crew once again put basketball on the back burner for a few segments in favor of Charles Barkley getting a few jokes in regarding the “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.
As the “Inside the NBA” team was discussing how the second half of the season would shake out, Kenny Smith asked Ernie Johnson which of the predictions they had made earlier in the year had no chance of coming true.
“Two black guys beating a black guy up,” Barkley interrupted, sending Shaquille O’Neal into laughter.
Barkley was alluding to the legal case involving Smollett, who was arrested Thursday on a charge of falsely reporting a racist, homophobic attack against him.
While not the lightest matter to joke about, Barkley dug in and quickly had the entire “Inside the NBA” crew in hysterics.
Barkley’s main issue with Smollett came from reports that he used a check to pay the two men who the police have said helped him stage the attack.
“America, let me just tell you something,” Barkley said. “Do not commit crimes with checks.”
Charles Barkley and Inside The NBA clowning Jussie Smollett pic.twitter.com/qnEHlTTrnT
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) February 22, 2019
The production team at “Inside the NBA” jumped into action, and after the next commercial break the show presented a graphic imagining a check written out to “muggers” for the purchase of “mugging supplies.”
Barkley would get one final joke in at Smollett’s expense before the end of the night, saying, “There must be some good damn sandwiches at Subway if you’ve got to go out there at 3, 4 in the morning to get them.”
Charles Barkley goes in on Jussie Smollett again while Kenny is discussing Anthony Davis and Subway is collateral damage pic.twitter.com/wkorwl99ZH
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) February 22, 2019
“Inside the NBA” is known for the loose rapport between its hosts and its tendency to deviate far from basketball, but even by their standards, Thursday night was a wild one for the show.