Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley pay tribute after death of Ernie Johnson’s son

Prayers for him and his family.

A typically jovial “NBA on TNT” studio took on a somber tone on Tuesday in the wake of host Ernie Johnson’s son’s death on Friday at 33 years old.

Michael Johnson died after a lifelong battle with muscular dystrophy. The sports world responded Saturday with an outpouring of kindness and condolences for Johnson and his family. On Tuesday, the beloved broadcaster’s studio mates paid tribute, dedicating the entire pregame show for TNT’s Tuesday doubleheader to the Johnson family.

Host Adam Lefkoe welcomed viewers to the broadcast with a statement from Turner Sports.

“Here at Turner, it’s family first, and our family’s hearts are heavy,” Lefkoe said. “Late last week Ernie Johnson’s son Michael, who battled Duchenne muscular dystrophy his entire life, passed away at 33 years old. Michael’s unwavering strength, his constant joy inspired everyone that had a chance to share time with him.”

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