One of the best things about Inside The NBA, TNT’s wonderful pregame, halftime and postgame show, is the rapport Shaq, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley and host Ernie Johnson have with each other. There’s a level of comfortability that allows the four men to broach what otherwise might be awkward topics, and turn them into, more times than not, a hilarious segment of television.
Take, for instance, their final segment following the Milwaukee Bucks Game 1 win over the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday night. As it turns out, one of the panelists on the show has a bit of history with the city of Milwaukee. The producers put a mugshot of Barkley from an arrest in Milwaukee in 1991 up on the screen.
Instead of being embarrassed, Barkley, immediately and candidly, told the backstory of what happened.
“I took all my clothes off because I had these three guys that were trying to beat me up,” Barkley said. “I wanted them to think I was crazy. This one guy kept standing in front of me, so I said ‘wipe on, wipe off.’ Two guys backed up, but this one fool was standing right there. I hit his ass as hard as I could. I broke his nose.”
Barkley was eventually found not guilty after telling the judge he was acting in self-defense. The man Barkley punched in the face, James R. McCarthy, reportedly told Barkley, “Charles, I hear you’re one of the baddest dudes in the NBA. You’re so tough on the court. Show me how tough you are.”
So Barkley, with no shirt, pants or shoes, did just that.