When the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Christmas Day, the game will be called by the entire Inside the NBA team, including Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson.
The contest will mark the first game the four have ever called together, and the Emmy Award-winning panel will also do their traditional pregame, halftime and postgame show duties live from Staples Center.
The little historical tidbit of the Inside the NBA crew calling their first day together is just a star on top of an already impressive tree of a game featuring two of the NBA’s most promising young cores.
From Andrew Wiggins matching up with Brandon Ingram to Lonzo Ball testing his newfound finishing skills at the rim against Karl-Anthony Towns, the contest should be one of the more exciting games of the NBA’s Christmas Day extravaganza, especially for Lakers fans.
It will also be interesting to listen to how the four-man team does at calling a live game. As anyone who has ever watched Inside the NBA knows, Johnson sometimes struggles to corral his three analysts and keep them focused on the highlights of a game they just watched, much less an entire game.
That struggle is one of the things that makes Inside the NBA the best postgame show around when it works. But it remains to be seen if Barkley’s hot takes and O’Neal’s mumbling about whatever big man is in front of him not having a postgame gets tiresome over three-plus hours of game action.
Especially given that sometimes Johnson is going to have to let viewers know what is actually happening on the floor if the game isn’t a blowout.
The Lakers tip against the Timberwolves at 7:30 p.m. PT to round out the NBA’s Christmas Day slate, and fans can watch the game live on TNT, on the Watch TNT app, or via the Watch TNT website, which can be found here.
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