When the media won't stick to sports, it doesn't necessarily mean they're focusing on politics and social justice. Sometimes they find all three too boring to bother with, and that's when you get Thursday night's disgusting, juvenile Inside the NBA on TNT. And Sports Illustrated's pathetic admiration for that cultural rot on Friday.
Thursday night, TNT analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal first wrestled each other and then howled over big women in San Antonio and oral sex jokes. This kind of media behavior is no longer unusual, not in a year when sports media were obsessed with Max Kellerman passing gas during the ESPN First Take show and the horror of New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman seeing his coach, Bill Belichick, naked.
It's evident that many sportscasters and writers are thoroughly bored with sports and more interested in contributing to cultural rot. Sports Illustrated's Jimmy Traina is one of them, too. On Friday morning, he characterized Inside the NBA "as one of the greatest, if not, the greatest, sports studio show of all time." You never know what to expect of TNT's NBA program, he adds. On Thursday night, "the crew treated us to wrestling and oral sex jokes,'' Traina reported. Lovely. Not.
Instead of focusing strictly on the NBA, the TNT show promoted AEW wrestling, which led to Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson actually grappling in a wrestling ring. A TNT Tweet slugged it, "Absolute chaos in Studio J!"
But it was Barkley's sexual rant that had O'Neal and Smith laughing their heads off. Traina recounted: "Earlier in the evening, Barkley continued his feud with the women of San Antonio, which led to an R-rated moment that Shaq could not get enough of."
"Shaq wanted me to talk about all them big old women in San Antonio. Oh, they got some big ones down there," Barkley said while making hand gestures in reference to oral sex. "They been eatin' them churros."
Busting a gut laughing and banging his hand on the desk, O'Neal blurted out, "That what they doin' with them churros? Do it slower, Chuck, do it slower."
Barkley took off again, mentioning the "big ass bloomers down there. They can't get in that tiny little underwear."
"What a show!" Traina declared, before moving on to another thoroughly sordid topic.
Next, Traina dove deep down into the bottom of a dumpster to find "an absolutely amazing in-depth research project by one incredibly savvy Reddit user who did a full-fledged investigation to see if there is a correlation between James Harden's performance in a given city and the quality of a city's strip clubs."
The researcher concluded that "I have proven, to a statistically significant degree, that James Harden’s game performance declines in cities with higher rated strip clubs."
The study revealed Harden’s best performance was in Toronto, the city with the worst strip clubs. His worst performance was in Miami, a city with the best strip clubs.
Last month it was announced that Sports Illustrated had been sold and it laid off 40 employees, though Traina's Extra Mustard rot somehow survived the cuts.