Somewhere on my Top Ten list of people I would like to have dinner with, is former NBA star Charles Barkley. Just for the comedy. He is one funny dude! Basketball made him rich, but he may have missed his true calling, stand-up comedy, or in this case, sit-down comedy.

Watch the video, below, as Barkley, participating in a TNT sports segment on the NBA playoffs, can’t help but take the segment in another direction – Jussie Smollett, and specifically, Smollett’s stupidity in writing a check to two Nigerian brothers who he paid to beat him senseless so that he could then play victim before the cameras, claiming that he was assaulted by two white Trump supporters in MAGA hats.

That’s right, Smollett wrote his Nigerian assailants a check for $3,500 to beat him to a pulp, and Prince Charles couldn’t resist the fun he was about to have at Smollett’s expense.

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During Thursday night’s TNT “Inside The NBA” program. the ad lib bit began with Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson discussing basketball and predictions that “had no chance of happening.”

Adding his contribution, straight-faced Barkley chimed in, “two black guys beating a black guy up,” clearly in reference to the Smollett case, which had the panel and studio crew roaring with laughter. Anchoring the opposite end of the panel of basketball experts, Shaq could hardly catch his breath, he was laughing so hysterically at Barkley’s commentary on Smollett.

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As Ed McMahon was to Johnny Carson, Shaq played his role perfectly as Barkley’s straight man, snorting and howling uncontrollably as Barkley continued his Smollett schtick, looking directly into the camera and counseling the country, “America, let me just tell you something, do not commit crimes with checks. Come on, man, if you gonna’ break the law, do not write a check. Get cash, man!”

At one point, Ernie Johnson, host of the program, exclaimed, “I can’t believe you, Chuck,” then, standing beside Barkley, simply shook his head at the former NBA star’s political incorrectness. Returning to his chair, Johnson was clearly not happy that Barkley had hijacked his basketball program and tried to end the Smollett routine, declaring, “I cannot believe we’ve completed…. we’ve touched them all right there. Circle the bags” (baseball home run reference).

Not yet finished with his fun, Chuckling Chuck offered Smollet a bit of moot counsel to close out the segment: “Jussie, you wasted all that damned time and money. You know what you shoulda’ did? Just went up to Liam Neeson’s neighborhood. He coulda’ solved all ya’ damned problems,” a reference to a recent confession by Neeson that for some time in Ireland he wanted to beat up a random black man in retaliation for the rape of a friend, Barkley’s insinuation being that Neeson would not only have beaten the crap out of Smollett, but would have done it for free.

The former NBA stars hadn’t had this much fun since they signed their first contract.

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