Charles Barkley Threatened To Give Stephen A. Smith An ‘Ass Whooping’ 30 Seconds Into ESPN And TNT’s Crossover Broadcast

With the In-Season Tournament semifinals in Las Vegas on Thursday afternoon, the NBA split the games evenly between their two main national TV partners, with ESPN airing the early game and TNT handling the late game.

Given both crews were going to be on-site in Vegas, they decided to do the first-ever crossover broadcast, with the two networks sharing talent for the night in celebration of the inaugural tournament. The most exciting part of that was we would get to see Stephen A. Smith join the Inside the NBA crew (along with Michael Wilbon) at the end of the night, but the Inside crew also made a cameo on ESPN’s airwaves during the first pregame show before Bucks-Pacers.

Unsurprisingly, it did not take long for things to go off the rails as 30 seconds into being on ESPN, Charles Barkley told Stephen A. not to bring all that loud yelling to Inside tonight, noting it’s not First Take and if he tries that he’s going to get his “first ass whooping.”

Please look at how delighted Stephen A. is to be doing all of this. The man knows good television and there is no program better in the sports world than Inside the NBA. Stephen A. getting to argue with Chuck, Shaq, and Kenny is all he’s ever wanted, and tonight he gets that chance, even if it comes with a threat of violence.

I’m also not sure ESPN was prepared for what was going to happen when they let the TNT crew join them, because this was only the beginning of things going off the rails. Chuck later noted how hot it was in Vegas and told Shaq it’s good practice for when he’s in hell — with Shaq quipping back he’ll be right between Barkley and Stephen A. down there. And then once their segment ended, Shaq then crashed the ESPN set to pretend to spill something on Stephen A., derailing their picks segment.