Ernie Johnson: ‘Not Going To Apologize For Barkley’

Charles Barkley, as only he can, provided another Charles Barkley moment Thursday night.

Barkley and his Inside the NBA on TNT cohorts were discussing the notion that the Sacramento Kings would involve DeMarcus Cousins in their head-coaching search. Barkley objected to this, saying that Cousins, 24, hasn’t accomplished anything in the NBA to warrant having that type of influence.

“He hasn’t done enough to deserve that type of power,” Barkley said. “They stink. Why would you give a guy that young that type of power? If you’re a Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Hakeem Olajuwon or somebody like that – yeah, you deserve that type of power after you have earned it.”

David Aldridge then interjected to make a point.

“Well, let me just say this either way,” Barkley countered. “That’s just total bull—-. That’s ridiculous.”

Host Ernie Johnson, seated a few feet to the right of Barkley, couldn’t believe it, calling him “Chuck-ster” as he voiced his disapproval for using profanity on live TV.

“Uhhhh,” Johnson sighed on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones, prompting laughter from the hosts. “I see you guys may have been watching that last night.”

Ernie, everybody was watching that last night.

“I mean, I kind of cringed when he went close there the first time because I thought he was maybe just careening out of control,” Johnson said. “And then when he reined himself in, it was kind of an exhale. ‘Okay, good, we dodged that bullet.’ Then he went back there and just air-rolled right through the barrier. That’s our show. Welcome to All-Star weekend.”

In all seriousness, what are you supposed to do in that moment? It’s live TV. Do you think about issuing an immediate apology, or do you just roll with it?

“Well, I’m not going to apologize for him,” Johnson said. “That would be up to him. But it’s just one of those things. It’s the entire package when you have Charles – and we’ve been doing this now for about 15 years together. And again, most of the time he catches himself, and I again thought that he had. But you know what? I’m sorry. If there were kids watching this early, I’m sorry that that happened. But it was Chuck. It was the Chuck-ster.”

Gregg Giannotti and Brian Jones love that name, by the way. Chuck-ster.

“I call him Chuck-ster all the time, man,” Johnson said, laughing. “It’s funny that you find that amusing. It’s Chuck, it’s Charles, it’s Charlie – it’s whatever. I think it was almost like a parent saying, ‘Oh, Chuck-ster.’ When I heard it back when you guys played it, I was like, it sounded like I was just disappointed in my son.”

Completely switching gears, Jones asked Johnson if he’s ever heard of Sticky Lou Jackson.

“You’re going to have to fill me in,” Johnson said, as laughter ensued.

Apparently Jones paraded the streets of New York City on Thursday, asking random people if they had ever heard of Sticky Lou Jackson, a fictitious NBA Hall of Famer. Amusingly, several people answered with, “Yeah, of course I remember him,” or something of that nature.

“I’m so glad that I answered the way I did and did not try to bluff it,” Johnson said, laughing. “‘Oh yeah, Sticky Lou. Oh yeah, I see him every year at the Legends Brunch.’ But no, that’s awesome. I should try that on Shaq.”

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