Ernie Johnson has captivated basketball fans for decades by running point for TNT’s popular Inside the NBA show. He brought more of his trademark gravitas when he spoke to Alabama’s iconic football program, jumping at the opportunity to teach the young men what it means to be a good person.
During his talk, which has since gone viral, Johnson tells the story of one of his adopted children, Michael, who lives with muscular dystrophy. The basketball coach at Micheal’s high school asked Johnson if his son could be the team’s manager because he wanted his players to understand what it means to be a great human being.
“He said, ‘I wanted to teach my team having a heart for others,’” Johnson recalled. “That heart of others runs deep. When you can lock eyes with a teammate and say: ‘I’d do anything for you.’”
Michael’s impact on the school and his community was unimaginable. Johnson explains that none of this would’ve been possible without him stepping away from his pre-planned agenda and being a good teammate to the human race. It’s this same mindset that makes Inside the NBA one of the most popular basketball programs in television history.
“See, the reason our show is successful is because nobody tries to make it about themselves,” Johnson said. “Chuck’s never tried to do that. Shaq’s never tried to do that. And neither has Kenny [Smith]. And God knows I’m not trying to, nobody cares what I think about a basketball game. I’m just trying to get us from Point A to Point B to Point C, and I’m trying to make these guys shine. It’s about knowing your role.”