A lot of famous NBA players after retirement choose other professions that are directly connected to basketball. We have examples of Shaq and Charles Barkley both of whom became presenters and analysts. Mark Jackson also followed the same steps and this is a tendency that can be seen in recent years when the former players are using their skills and experience to describe games and review some of the important moments. It is something both pleasurable and interesting to watch because having matches analyzed and comprehensively researched by former pro players is a thing worth attention. There is one particular person in the industry that specifically deserves attention – Ernie Johnson. Ernie Johnson Jr. is one of the most loved and unique personalities in the basketball industry. He currently hosts Inside the NBA for TNT. Whilst being an experienced analyst and probably a respected face, Did Ernie Johnson play in the NBA?
Did Ernie Johnson play in the NBA? Although Ernie Johnson commentates on the NBA he has not actually played in the NBA.
Analysis of former players and experts is always noteworthy as they have clear insight into various matches and provide detailed information on everything. As Ernie Johnson has never actually played basketball at the professional level, we take a look at his career and he became one of the recognised faces in the NBA.
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Born in 1956 in Milwaukee, Ernie Johnson is a son of the former baseball player Ernie Johnson Sr. He attended the University of Georgia where he got a major in journalism. In the 70-80s, Johnson was already having some progress as a news reporter and sports director and showcased his interest in basketball and the NBA in particular. His father’s career also had an impact on the future report, who, from 1993 to 1996 called baseball games of Atlanta Braves (the team where his father played) alongside Ernie Johnson Sr.
TNT and breakthrough to the NBA
We have mentioned at the beginning of the article that Ernie Johnson is more known for his role as a TNT commentator and analyst. The network’s famous show Inside the NBA is something that attracts a lot of viewers and Ernie Johnson is one of the most notable representatives of this coverage. He regularly holds pre and post-game shows analyzing one of the most important events and moments of different games.
Hosting a show since 1990 at the end of each broadcast, Johnson actually presents E.J.’s Neat-O Stat of the Night. Initially, this was not sponsored by anyone but in 2007 Vitaminwater interfered. It was pretty tough that this segment was left without attention but eventually, the brand decided to step in.
Johnson constantly comes up with innovative and unique ideas that are only beneficial to the NBA and basketball in general. Once, he has offered to draft the All-Star Game during Saturday’s weekend program. Johnson outlined his idea by the fact that all players would be in the hall. “You can take them to the court after the three-point competition, and the team captains will draft” – he mentioned. And this is only a little portion of the suggestions he is putting forward.
Ernie Johnson is not particularly famous for his shows in the NBA. The commentator also has some experience being an announcer of the PGA tours and baseball matches. Following his father’s footsteps, Johnson broadcast a lot of games of Atlanta Braves. Furthermore, Johnson was hosting coverages for football matches in particular the 1990 FIFA World Cup. Due to his incredible personality, Ernie Johnson has received numerous awards and titles. He is a 6-time Sports Emmy Award winner, which is unbelievable and hard to imagine.
Johnson is also a sportscaster for different NBA games such as NBA 2K15, 2K16, 2K17, etc.
There was also a joke in the past months associated with the attacks on the Washington Capitol in January when the supporters of Donald Trump entered the building. The hosts of Inside The NBA explained that Ernie Johnson, the only white participant of the show, was not on the air because he was in the Capitol. Charles Barkley was coming up with this joke.
Problems with health
While being one of the most devoted persons and having a really large family, Johnson suffered problems with this health. The host of the popular Inside The NBA program declared that he has blood clots in both legs.
Johnson said he would not work for MLB league baseball playoffs as doctors advised him not to fly prior to the 2018 MLB Season. Johnson noted at the same time that he would continue to work in the Inside The NBA program. Unfortunately, he is still struggling with the disease and continuing chemotherapy treatments.
Ernie Johnson is a type of person that is impossible to hate or criticize. He managed to gain a lot of popularity and establish himself as one of the most loved personalities in the basketball industry. While at the same time fighting with his ailment, Johnson manages to find time for everything. Considering his tremendous experience and ability to analyze every event thoroughly, it seems unimaginable that he has never played basketball during his career. Viewers always anticipate that the ones who are able to follow every detail and provide accurate predictions are former players with huge knowledge. However, this is true and Ernie Johnson never took part in a professional match at the NBA level and there is no information as well, whether he was a part of the college team.