When Charles Barkley Had To Kiss Kenny Smith’s Ass On National Television

Photo Credit: NBA on TNT

When Charles Barkley Had To Kiss Kenny Smith’s Ass On National Television


To me, TNT’s ‘Inside the NBA’ is by far the best and funniest NBA show around. The cast is outstanding and you can tell that Shaq, Kenny, Ernie and Chuck are good friends off the camera as well.

Hell, it might be my favorite TV show overall.

That’s why we’re throwing it back to this ultimate classic today. It came during a time when Shaq was still in his prime as an NBA player, and therefore not part of the crew.

It was during the 2002/2003 NBA season; Yao Ming was the first pick of the draft that year, but Barkley had his doubts about the Chinese big man. That’s why he made a risky bet:


“If Yao Ming gets 19 points in a game this year, I’ma kiss Kenny’s ass right here in front of everybody… Yao Ming makes Shawn Bradley look like Bill Russell. He might be a good player one day but he ain’t ready.”



As you all know, Charles Barkley was off… by a lot. While Ming only averaged 14 minutes and 4 points in his first seven games, he scored 20 points on a perfect 9-of-9 from the field and 2-of-2 from the free-throw line against the Lakers, in his eighth. 

Barkley though, made good on his bet by kissing the butt of a donkey purchased by Smith for the occasion (Smith’s “ass”).



Ming in the meantime went on to became a superstar in this league. He was an eight time All-Star, a member of five All-NBA Teams and has his jersey retired by the Houston Rockets.

Unfortunately, injuries to his foot and ankle forced him to retire after only eight seasons.

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