Former professional basketball star Charles Barkley unloaded on Jussie Smollett in a hilarious segment on TNT’s halftime show that left his co-hosts scrambling to remain composed.
The retired pro basketball player, who is currently an analyst on TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” weighed in on the news that Smollett was arrested after allegedly staging an assault on himself last month. But Barkley’s remarks were comedy gold rather than long-winded commentary during the Rockets-Lakers halftime show on Thursday.
“America, let me just tell you something. Do not commit crimes with checks! If you’re gonna break the law, do not write a check! Get cash man!!” Barkley said amid uncontrollable laughter on the set, referring to the check Smollett allegedly gave to the two Nigerian brothers he paid in the hoax hate crime.
Forgot to thread again pic.twitter.com/wkorwl99ZH
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) February 22, 2019
“Jussie, you wasted all that damn time and money,” Barkley continued as co-host Ernie Johnson struggled to remain professional and Shaquille O’Neal was reduced to tears.
“You know what you should’ve did? Just went up in Liam Neeson’s neighborhood. Would’ve solved all your damn problems,” Barkley said, referring to Neeson’s controversial comments in an interview earlier this month about wanting to kill a “black bastard” in Northern Ireland after a friend had revealed she was raped by a black man.
“I can’t believe you, Chuck,” Johnson said.
The roughly two-minute segment not only left the set doubled over, Twitter users celebrated Barkley as a “national treasure” for the few minutes of pure entertainment.
Charles Barkley on the Jussie Smollett case ???
I don’t know what’s better, Shaq laughing, EJ trying to stay professional or Chuck’s advice on how to commit a crime pic.twitter.com/b3b2MZKCXa
— Kevin Luthringer (@KCL_12) February 22, 2019
I dare anyone to try and watch this with a straight face. I just giggled through the entire thing ?
— Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) February 22, 2019
That was the funniest 2 minutes ever. Shaq’s laugh was hysterical.
— @TChadbourne – (@TChadbourne) February 22, 2019
Charles Barkley = National Treasure
— The Velvet Undergown (@PetetheGeezer) February 22, 2019
Charles Barkley breaks down how much of an idiot Jussie Smollett really is pic.twitter.com/ZipPXxpdDg
— Someone’s An Idiot (@SomeonesAnIdiot) February 22, 2019
…the production Crew is dying..!!
— Tony Dale (@tonydaledrums) February 22, 2019
???? I must’ve watched this 20 times. LOL!!!
— red wine goddess (@gingertealkp) February 22, 2019
Charles Barkley is HILARIOUS ??? pic.twitter.com/3bTgSX2n9D
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) February 22, 2019
— Bake (@lDontWannaBHere) February 22, 2019
Nobody can get away with what he gets away with. Charles is making America great again.
— eli three (@poet_zero) February 22, 2019
America Charles Barkley is now the voice of reason!!!
“Do not commit crimes with checks!! Preach Charles !
— Jealis (@JealisST) February 22, 2019
Charles Barkley is the gift that never stops giving pic.twitter.com/Ba7c9JnRDH
— Eric Hubbs (@BarstoolHubbs) February 22, 2019