The Inside The NBA cast of Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley, and Shaquille O’Neal will be sticking around intact on TNT for years to come. Warner Bros. Discovery Sports announced Monday that they have “reached agreements with all four members of TNT’s iconic Inside the NBA studio show – Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal – to ensure the team will remain together for many years to come.” Here are quotes from the WBD executives involved from the release:

“Our partnership with the NBA is very important to us and this long-term agreement with the Inside the NBA team is recognition of their significance to that relationship,” said Luis Silberwasser, Chairman and CEO, Warner Bros. Discovery Sports. “Inside the NBA epitomizes the creativity and innovative spirit we’ve established throughout our successful, long-standing partnership with the league.”

“We’re incredibly proud of Inside the NBA and all it has achieved throughout its storied history – helping to define and share in the culture of the NBA and its fans – and so much of that success can be attributed to the chemistry between Ernie, Charles, Kenny and Shaquille,” said Lenny Daniels, President, WBD Sports US. “In our industry, it’s so rare to find a show that transcends sports media, but Inside the NBA has earned its reputation as one of the best in television history.”

And quotes from the four cast members:

“We’re all a big family – Ernie, Kenny and Shaquille are brothers to me – and I wouldn’t still be here if it wasn’t for them and all the amazing people who work on our show,” said Barkley. “I’m not gonna lie, though, this is a life-altering deal…and I’m blessed to be able to do live television for a living.”

“I always say there are ‘Got to, jobs’ and Get to, jobs,’ and the four of us clearly have ‘Get to, jobs’,” said Johnson. “It’s been a journey of a lifetime to work on this show, with Charles, Kenny and Shaquille at the desk and alongside such an amazingly talented crew behind the scenes. I’m very blessed.”

“I’ve been on a few championship teams in my day, but there’s nothing quite like this one,” said Smith. “I wanted to continue doing the show because of the basketball and cultural impact that our show has become. I’m excited for the season and many more to come.”

“I’m happy for ‘The Godfather’ and Kenneth…is there someone else I’m forgetting?” said O’Neal. “I’m kidding…love you, Charles. As long as I say, “Are you not entertained?” and the answer is ‘Yes,’ then we’re going to keep this thing going.”

It’s notable that this whole team will be sticking around for quite some time. Exactly how long “many years to come” covers isn’t clear, but Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reported Monday that Barkley’s deal is for 10 years (and “well in excess of $100 million.”) TNT has NBA rights through 2024-25 at the moment, which was how long Barkley’s current contract ran. The new wave of contracts not just for him, but for all of the Inside The NBA cast, certainly seems to suggest they’re quite confident of retaining rights beyond that. And it also means that the chemistry that’s led to so many plaudits for Inside The NBA should remain intact for quite a while yet.

[Photo supplied by WarnerMedia]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.