Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith are done moonlighting talking college basketball for the NCAA Tournament. Hey, at least we got the Chuxedo out of it:
But now the duo are back in the TNT studios where they are most at home and most knowledgeable, talking NBA playoffs with Ernie Johnson and Hall of Fame big man Shaquille O’Neal. But Barkley wants even more company — maybe he misses NCAA CBS mainstay Clark Kellogg? Nah.
Chuck just knows how to provoke, so he keeps inviting LeBron James to join the foursome at their already crowded table. Chuck needles LeBron because the Lakers enigma is out of the playoffs for the first time in forever, and Barkley says he’s got time to do some games with them even though he’s got “got to pick a coach and a general manager.” Nice, Charles. Barkley tells James not to sweat it, assuring King James that “we (Kenny, Ernie, Shaq and himself) can help you pick out a coach.” Shaq was maybe thinking Kobe?
“I’ve said this before, America, and this is the last time,” Barkley said with a smile during a segment Sunday night. “LeBron James, come into the studio. You ain’t got nothing to do. The playoffs started yesterday. You’ve got free time. I know you’ve got to pick a coach and a general manager. Just put that on the back burner. I’m speaking on behalf — I’m begging you on behalf of Ernie, Kenny and Shaq.
“LeBron, how about this? You don’t even have to stay. You can leave at halftime of the second game. … We can help you pick out a coach. Listen, Shaq knows, because he would enjoy to coach. And Kenny’s been interviewing for coaching jobs the last couple of years. So come on in, LeBron. Please.”