20-year flashback segment of Inside the NBA ahead of Mavericks-Timberwolves Game 2 matchup Photo Credit: TNT

Prior to Friday night’s Game 2 between the Dallas Mavericks and the Minnesota Timberwolves on TNT, the Inside the NBA crew provided a little blast from the past in a 20-year-old throwback clip of the show that highlighted just how much the show has grown over the years.

The clip ironically came from the Target Center, the same arena where Friday’s Game 2 matchup took place, for the postgame recap of Game 1 of the 2004 Western Conference Finals between the Timberwolves and the Los Angeles Lakers.

The throwback video was a bit of foreshadowing for the future of Inside the NBA, showing the crew interviewing then-Lakers star center Shaquille O’Neal showing off a bit of his vaunted comedy in an interview where he was ripping on Kenny Smith as he has done many times in his current role on the show.

“Obviously, some of you guys aren’t on my level. You’re on my level. Ernie (Johnson) is on my level. Charles (Barkley) is on my level. But Kenny (Smith), he’ll never be on my level. Never ever never ever never.”

Shaq then proceeded to continuously act like he didn’t know who Kenny Smith was and later said that he was “the guy that sweeps the floor”.

Considering there have been plenty of talks about the potential end of the beloved studio show in recent weeks as TNT remains on the verge of losing its broadcast rights to the NBA, viewers certainly appreciated this nostalgic clip of the show from the past.

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The show will continue for at least one more year given that TNT has another year of NBA broadcast rights. But after that, the future of the show appears to be up in the air.

Charles Barkley has recently floated out the possibility of potentially making the show an independent show with the help of his production company. But it would sure seem like the dynamic would change pretty drastically if that change were to come.

Regardless of what happens to Inside the NBA, this throwback moment is a reminder that there are countless iconic segments in the history of the show that NBA fans will look back at fondly.

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About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.