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March 25, 2023

The Inside Story of Ernie Johnson Jr.: Insights, Anecdotes, and Surprises

Ernie Johnson Jr. is a household name when it comes to sports broadcasting. He has become a staple on TNT’s Inside the NBA and has been calling NBA games for over 30 years. But who is the man behind the microphone? In this blog post, we will take a deep dive into the life of Ernie Johnson Jr. and learn about his background, career, personal life, and more.

1. Early Life and Career

Ernie Johnson Jr. was born on August 7, 1956, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His father, Ernie Johnson Sr., was a Major League Baseball pitcher. Johnson Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps and pursued a career in sports. He attended the University of Georgia and played basketball for the Bulldogs from 1974 to 1977.

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After college, Johnson Jr. started his career in journalism. He worked for local news stations in Georgia and later became a sports anchor for CNN. He joined Turner Sports in 1989 and has been a fixture on NBA broadcasts ever since.

2. Personal Life and Family

Ernie Johnson Jr. has been married to his wife, Cheryl, since 1982. They have six children, including a son who was adopted from Romania and has special needs. Johnson Jr. is a devout Christian and often talks about the importance of his faith in his life.

In addition to his work in sports broadcasting, Johnson Jr. is also known for his philanthropy. He founded the non-profit organization, the Johnson Family Fund, which provides financial assistance to families in need.

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3. Hosting Inside the NBA

One of Ernie Johnson Jr.’s most memorable roles is as the host of TNT’s Inside the NBA. He moderates the show’s discussion between former NBA players Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Shaquille O’Neal.

Despite the often chaotic nature of the show, Johnson Jr. manages to keep things running smoothly and maintains a sense of professionalism. He is well-respected by his colleagues and has won several Emmy Awards for his work on the show.

4. Calling NBA Games

In addition to hosting Inside the NBA, Ernie Johnson Jr. is also a play-by-play announcer for NBA games on TNT. He has called some of the most memorable moments in recent NBA history, including Kobe Bryant’s 81-point game and the epic 2016 NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Golden State Warriors.

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Johnson Jr. has a smooth and easy-to-listen-to voice and has become known for his catchphrases, such as “Gimme that hot sauce!” and “That’s nasty!”

5. Dealing with Health Issues

In 2003, Ernie Johnson Jr. was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system. He took a leave of absence from TNT to undergo chemotherapy but returned to work after six months.

Despite the physical toll of his illness, Johnson Jr. remained optimistic and continued to work through his treatment. He has since recovered from cancer and has become an advocate for cancer research.

6. Honors and Awards

Ernie Johnson Jr. has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career. In addition to his Emmy Awards for hosting Inside the NBA, he has also been recognized for his work in journalism and broadcasting.

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In 2017, Johnson Jr. was awarded the Stuart Scott ENSPIRE Award for his philanthropy and charitable work. He was also inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2016.

7. Fun Facts

– Ernie Johnson Jr. is a huge fan of the band, U2.
– He has a framed picture of himself with former President Barack Obama in his office.
– Johnson Jr. is a self-professed golf addict and even owns a golf course in Georgia.
– In addition to his work on TNT, Johnson Jr. has called baseball and college football games for TBS.


Q1: What is Ernie Johnson Jr.’s net worth?
A: According to Celebrity Net Worth, Ernie Johnson Jr. has a net worth of $16 million.

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Q2: What is Ernie Johnson Jr.’s catchphrase?
A: Ernie Johnson Jr.’s catchphrases include “Gimme that hot sauce!” and “That’s nasty!”

Q3: How many Emmy Awards has Ernie Johnson Jr. won?
A: Ernie Johnson Jr. has won six Emmy Awards for his work on TNT’s coverage of the NBA.

Q4: What kind of cancer did Ernie Johnson Jr. have?
A: Ernie Johnson Jr. was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2003.

Q5: Does Ernie Johnson Jr. have any children?
A: Yes, Ernie Johnson Jr. has six children.

Q6: What is the Johnson Family Fund?
A: The Johnson Family Fund is a non-profit organization founded by Ernie Johnson Jr. that provides financial assistance to families in need.

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Q7: What team did Ernie Johnson Jr. play basketball for in college?
A: Ernie Johnson Jr. played basketball for the University of Georgia Bulldogs.


Ernie Johnson Jr. is more than just a sports broadcaster – he is a devoted family man, philanthropist, cancer survivor, and all-around good person. His professionalism, humor, and genuine nature make him a beloved figure among NBA fans and colleagues alike. We hope this deep dive into his life and career has given you a greater appreciation for who he is both on and off the court. What is your favorite Ernie Johnson Jr. moment? Let us know in the comments below!

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