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Charles Barkley's Co-Host Couldn't Stop Him from Brutally Roasting Jussie Smollett

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Unless you’ve been intentionally avoiding the news lately, you’ve likely heard about the curious case of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett.

The 36-year-old Smollett, who is black and gay, has come under intense scrutiny after claiming to have been a victim of a hate crime in late January. He said he was attacked by a pair of Donald Trump supporters in a racist and anti-gay assault.

That’s apparently not what really happened.

According to Chicago police, Smollett staged the entire ordeal as a way to get paid more for his “Empire” role.

Smollett now faces charges of filing a false police report, which could land him up to three years in prison.

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The entire mess has been an ugly situation that’s been a microcosm of the intersection of race and politics in 2019.

In other words, it’s perfect fodder for NBA legend and “Inside the NBA” co-host Charles Barkley.

For the unaware, Barkley is the loud and outspoken former NBA MVP who has turned “Inside The NBA” into appointment viewing for NBA fans.

When Barkley’s not being brutally honest about current players, he can usually be seen getting NBA stars past and present riled up with his commentary.

Given Barkley’s carefree attitude, it should come as little surprise that he saw no issue with tackling the Smollett controversy using his trademark biting humor — starting with reports that the actor wrote a check to pay the two men who helped stage the “attack.”


“America, let me just tell you something: Do not commit crimes with checks. If you’re going to break the law, do not write a check. Get cash man!” Barkley said. Joking or not, Barkley’s reference to Smollett having paid people to stage the attack is spot on.

Look, don’t break the law. But Barkley is 100 percent correct that if you’re absolutely going to break the law, it’s not very smart to leave a monetary trail.

TNT’s “Inside the NBA” graphics crew, typically spot on when they’re roasting Barkley, pumped out a hilarious fake check to reinforce Barkley’s joke.

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Even Kenny “The Jet” Smith got in on the Smollett roasting.


“Looks to me like a good time to take a break,” co-host Ernie Johnson eventually relented over a guffawing Shaquille O’Neal. For his part, Johnson, typically the straight man to the rest of his cohorts, tried to get the conversation back on basketball a couple different times to no avail.

Barkley had his bit and refused to stray off his topic. And as damning as it is for Smollett, I think we’re all better off for Barkley’s sidesplitting rant.

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Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than two years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics.
Bryan Chai has written news and sports for The Western Journal for more than two years and has produced more than 1,300 stories. He specializes in the NBA and NFL as well as politics. He graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona. He is an avid fan of sports, video games, politics and debate.
Birthplace
Hawaii
Education
Class of 2010 University of Arizona. BEAR DOWN.
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, Korean
Topics of Expertise
Sports, Entertainment, Science/Tech




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