The Inside the NBA crew was back on TNT Tuesday night for the start of the 2021-22 regular season. Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny “The Jet” Smith and of course, Charles Barkley were on hand outside of the Staples Center for their first show together since the 2021 NBA Finals.
The crew was treated to a pair of entertaining games on Tuesday. The defending champion Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo commemorated last season’s title with a dominant showing over the Brooklyn Nets, while the Golden State Warriors used a balanced effort to get past the new look Los Angeles Lakers on the road.
Although the action on the court was fantastic, plenty of NBA fans were just eager to see the Inside the NBA crew back together. The well-regarded pregame show was in prime form on Tuesday, with none other than Charles Barkley leading the way.
The Hall of Fame big man, who was on TNT’s NHL pregame show just last week, hit the ground running with high level analysis and comedic relief. NBA fans were impressed with Barkley throughout the two games and took to Twitter to talk about his performance.
"They need a lot of rubbing alcohol and Bengay with these old geezers."
TNT's Charles Barkley, already in mid-season form, on the Lakers.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) October 19, 2021
Charles Barkley rarely misses.
— Zach Rosen (@ZacharySRosen) October 20, 2021
Thank you, Charles Barkley
— Rohan Katti (@RKattiJr) October 20, 2021
Last week they had Charles Barkley doing this. Today they have him talking about the vaccine. His range is impeccable tbh pic.twitter.com/LZtPAVRES0
— Morgan Bagg (@MorganBagg) October 20, 2021
Charles Barkley is a National Treasure! That’s all. pic.twitter.com/TwwxR6cNNh
— Michael Kronenberg (@MWKronenberg) October 20, 2021
One of the most important conversations that Barkley was a part of Tuesday was one about Kyrie Irving refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Barkley expressed his frustration with the Nets point guard and explained why every player should get vaccinated to protect one another and their loved ones.
“You don’t get the vaccine for yourself. You get it for other people. I got vaccinated,” Barkley said Tuesday. “I can’t wait to get the booster. You don’t get vaccinated just for yourself. Like (Adam Silver) said, you get vaccinated for your family first, your teammates second. Things like that. That’s what bothered me about this whole thing. I think everybody should get vaccinated.”
Barkley’s statement on the matter was well-received by those on NBA Twitter.
Many thanks to Mr. Charles Barkley https://t.co/Er4QrGgDJ4
— Prof Peter Hotez MD PhD (@PeterHotez) October 20, 2021
Charles Barkley is the best. I love Chuck.pic.twitter.com/vDjm1cw5Ht
— Casey Halpern (@CaseyHalp) October 20, 2021
Charles Barkley in midseason form here on Kyrie and vaccines. It’s so good to have Chuck, Kenny, Ernie and Shaq back. pic.twitter.com/fLrJJtLt0b
— Jimmy Traina (@JimmyTraina) October 20, 2021
Thank you, Charles Barkley. Amen. https://t.co/yUDjeAo75r
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) October 20, 2021
Charles Barkley schooling Kenny (and Kyrie) on the vaccine: “First of all, you don’t get the vaccine for yourself. You get it for other people.” pic.twitter.com/MK8ccAFDgb
— Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) October 20, 2021
If Barkley was this sharp on the first night of the 2021-22 NBA season, fans will have lots to look forward this year. He’ll be back with the rest of the Inside the NBA crew on Thursday for Mavericks vs. Hawks and Clippers vs. Warriors.