Every year, the Inside the NBA crew bids farewell to teams that get knocked out of the postseason with their “Gone Fishin'” segment, photoshopping players onto a boat, which has grown into a fairly elaborate bit where the fellas put on hats and have fishing poles and pretend they too are on a boat.
This year they got a new “Gone Fishin'” vessel for the segment that looks like a superyacht, which prompted Charles Barkley to make a Clarence Thomas joke that had Ernie Johnson stumbling over his words trying to get into the segment.
“This looks like the one Clarence Thomas was ridin’ on and wasn’t tellin’ nobody,” Barkley said, earning some audible guffaws from the studio crew and having Ernie unsure if he should say anything or not.
Thomas, a Supreme Court justice, is embroiled in a number of controversies right now for getting trips paid for by a conservative megadonor — who also apparently bought his mother’s house in Savannah, Georgia. Ernie wasn’t sure if those were waters they should be wading into, but Chuck can’t help but dive in headfirst whenever the opportunity presents itself.
Shaq was the one to steer them back on course, making sure Ernie delivered his signature line about his Neat-O Stat of the Night still being “unsullied by sponsorship.” Ernie seemed to appreciate the big fella helping pull them out of Chuck’s joke, which was delivered with hilarious conviction. Eventually they got on to less topical jokes about the Mavs, Pelicans, Bulls, Thunder, and Raptors.