As the studio host of TBS and TNT's NBA coverage and those networks' Inside the NBA show ( Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith are his partners on TNT), Ernie Johnson logs more airtime than a commercial pilot. Last week Johnson, 45, won his first Emmy Award, as the top studio host in sports TV.
SI: If Charles Barkley were running for governor of your home state, Georgia, would you vote for him?
Johnson: No, I'd move.
SI: Should a 45-year-old man wear a goatee?
Johnson: It's like I tell my wife: Facial hair—it grows on you.
SI: Is there really any reason to watch the NBA before the fourth quarter?
Johnson: Yes, you should watch us at halftime. Charles might be chastising Larry King for having Monica Lewinsky on his show.
SI: What's the most basketball games you've seen in one day?
Johnson: I watched 14 on the last night of the regular season.
SI: Why is it so damn hard for Charles to get publicity?