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Ernie Johnson zings Charles Barkley with brilliant one-liner (vid)

Ernie Johnson delivered an absolutely savage one-liner at the expense of fellow “NBA on TNT” personality Charles Barkley during Wednesday’s playoff coverage.

EJ typically plays the role of straight man and allows Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith to own the spotlight. But on Wednesday night, Barkley set Johnson up with the opportunity he simply could not pass up.

During a discussion about the Washington Wizards, Barkley made — in hindsight — a comment about a statistical “nugget” Johnson had just mentioned.

Zing! As transcribed by Dime Mag:

Ernie: The first time in the Wizards’ playoff history that they had more blocks than turnovers.
Charles: That’s a good stat.
Ernie: 10 blocks, seven turnovers.
Charles: That’s some good nuggets. Good thing somebody told you them.
Ernie: That’s not the first time you’ve said, “Those are some good nuggets,” either.
Shaq: [laughs]
Charles: Wowwww.

The best part had to be Shaq patting Barkley’s stomach after EJ dropped the savage one-liner. Good stuff, indeed. Well, for everyone except Sir Charles.

The “Inside the NBA” studio crew is behind arguably the most entertaining and informative pregame/post-game shows covering major American sports (myriad examples here and here). And a lot of the credit should go to Johnson for managing the three-ring circus that is the studio crew.

But on Wednesday night, EJ deservedly got his opportunity to shine.

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