The ‘Inside The NBA’ Crew Had All The Ben Simmons Jokes After Shaq Showed Up Late (Again)

TNT’s Inside The NBA crew is already in midseason form, even in the first week of the 2021-22 NBA season. The panel has discussed Ben Simmons (at length) in the early going, expressed frustration with Kyrie Irving, and even had a bunch of laughs when Shaq indicated that he would “bust Wilt (Chamberlain)’s ass.” On Thursday, there was plenty of chatter as the NBA revealed the final 25 players on its famed 75th anniversary list, but the jokes arrived in full when Shaq showed up late to the set and wandered to his seat during live air.

Given that the entire league continues to discuss the Ben Simmons saga on an hourly basis, it isn’t a shock that Charles Barkley immediately referenced the Philadelphia 76ers star.

“What’s wrong with you, Ben Simmons?” Barkley said. “You mad at us for asking you to show up to work?”

Shaq then proceeded to pull out his phone as the jokes were flying, as Barkley, Kenny Smith and Dwyane Wade picked on him for the late arrival. Ernie Johnson snuck in that this has happened before in Atlanta, and this was the first show of the regular season from the studio. Still, the traffic situation in the hometown of the show probably isn’t quite enough to explain this one away, though the entertainment factor of Shaq’s delay probably made the entire sequence worth it.

Later on in the evening, he joined the Twitter Live crew and put the blame on his self-driving Escalade.