Inside the NBA host Ernie Johnson was Dan Le Batard’s guest on the most recent edition of The South Beach Sessions and what followed was an engaging conversation on a wide-ranging series of topics including career, faith and family.
Of course, most people know Johnson for his role in leading the famed Inside the NBA and helping it become one of the most beloved shows not just in sports, but in all of television. Ernie said that part of what makes the show work is that no one tries the make the show about themselves. He notes that he’s in the fortunate position to help get the show from Point A to Point B to Point C with three guys who have been in every conceivable situation in a basketball game and it’s up to him to try and bring out the best in his three teammates.
“We love each other, truly…I grew up with two older sisters and this is as close as I’ll ever come to having brothers.”— Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (@LeBatardShow) June 2, 2023
- Ernie Johnson (@TurnerSportsEJ) describes the special bond between he, Shaq, Charles, & Kenny plus much more on this week’s #SouthBeachSessions
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Ernie also reveals when he learned not to let his career define him through an experience that he’s thought about for decades after it happened.
“The job is what I do, it’s not who I am…it took me a while to learn that…— Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (@LeBatardShow) June 2, 2023
…that was the defining moment that said, ‘get over yourself.’”
- @TurnerSportsEJ shares a story of forgiveness that changed his perspective on “the big picture” and the importance of humanity.… pic.twitter.com/6uMcOUcHFU
Ernie also touched upon his late adopted son Michael, who passed away at age 33 in 2021. Ernie opens up about how his wife Cheryl saw what was going on in Romania on 20/20 in 1991 and went to him and said she wanted to adopt a child from there. Ernie says his wife going to Romania and adopting Michael changed the whole trajectory of their family. Ernie went on to describe some of the challenges Michael overcame, including being diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. Ernie told a great story about how Michael would always ask people when he met them what they drove for a car and would always remember it, including teachers who he would see years later and still remember what car they drove when he met them. Ernie said Michael was “a joy and a wonder to behold and his impact on folks was much greater than I’ll ever have on anybody.”
“He was a joy and a wonder to behold. His impact on folks is much greater than I’ll ever have on anybody…Be content with the simple things.”— Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz (@LeBatardShow) June 2, 2023
- @TurnerSportsEJ describes the humbling wisdom that he learned from his son, Michael.#SouthBeachSessions ❤️
Ernie said Michael taught him about unconditional love and being content with whatever you have.
Check out the breakdown of the show below.
South Beach Sessions: Ernie Johnson
- A legend, a national treasure, and the glue that has made “Inside the NBA” on TNT the best show on television for nearly three decades, Ernie Johnson is the best of the best because he’s done it all with love. Dan explores the secrets behind the magic of what Ernie does, the humbling wisdom learned from his son, Michael, and the unspoken sensitivities surrounding Shaq, Charles, and Kenny. Ernie also reveals being haunted for years by a rare moment when his ego unleashed the worst in him.
Watch more below!
Check out the Le Batard and Friends YouTube page for more and subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow the show on Twitter @LeBatardShow.
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