The Inside the NBA crew over at TNT gives us a lot of laughs every week. Shaq, Kenny, Ernie, and Chuck comprise easily one of the most entertaining panels of basketball “analysts” on television. We put “analysts” in scare quotes not because they aren’t knowledgeable about the game, but because they like to get sidetracked yucking it up about any number of tangentially-related topics.
But they also know when it’s time to get real. When Kenny’s mother, Anna Mae Smith, passed away a couple of weeks ago, it was Ernie who delivered a heartfelt message to fans written by his friend and long-time colleague. The topic of loss came up again on Sunday night when the gang stood in awe of how Patrick Beverley was able to perform in the aftermath of his grandfather’s death.
Chuck then used the opportunity to talk about how proud he was of Kenny for being able to give such an eloquent eulogy at his mother’s funeral, and then in a rare moment of vulnerability, discussed his “jealousy,” but moreso his admiration, over the fact that both Kenny and Ernie had parents who stayed together for the long haul.