Brigid Smothers

Written by Brigid Smothers

Modified & Updated: 23 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Ernie Johnson Jr. is a familiar face to many sports fans, especially those who follow basketball. Known for his charismatic personality and insightful commentary, Johnson has become a beloved figure in the world of sports broadcasting. However, there is much more to this multi-talented individual than meets the eye.

In this article, we will delve into 22 intriguing facts about Ernie Johnson Jr. From his humble beginnings in sports journalism to his unexpected detour into the world of comedy, you’ll discover lesser-known aspects of his life and career that have contributed to his success and popularity.

So, buckle up and get ready to learn more about the man behind the microphone. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply curious about this charismatic personality, these facts will surely pique your interest and deepen your appreciation for the remarkable talent that is Ernie Johnson Jr.

Key Takeaways:

  • Ernie Johnson Jr, a former baseball player, is a beloved sports broadcaster known for his Emmy Awards, philanthropy, and resilience in overcoming personal challenges like cancer.
  • Ernie Johnson Jr’s genuine camaraderie, versatility, and impact beyond sports make him a respected figure in broadcasting, admired for his humor, interviewing skills, and mentorship to aspiring broadcasters.
Table of Contents

Ernie Johnson Jr began his career as a professional baseball player.

Before making his mark in the broadcasting world, Ernie Johnson Jr pursued a career in baseball. He played as a pitcher in the Baltimore Orioles organization and even reached the Triple-A level before transitioning into broadcasting.

Ernie Johnson Jr joined Turner Sports in 1990.

In 1990, Ernie Johnson Jr joined Turner Sports as a studio host for their NBA coverage. This marked the beginning of his long and successful tenure with the network, where he became a beloved figure in the world of sports broadcasting.

Ernie Johnson Jr has won multiple Emmy Awards.

Throughout his career, Ernie Johnson Jr has been recognized for his exceptional work in sports broadcasting, earning multiple Emmy Awards for his hosting and commentary. His professionalism and charisma have made him a fan favorite.

Ernie Johnson Jr is known for his philanthropic efforts.

Beyond his broadcasting career, Ernie Johnson Jr is also dedicated to giving back to the community. He actively participates in various charitable initiatives, including co-founding the Johnson Family Vacation Giveback, which helps families facing adversity.

Ernie Johnson Jr’s faith plays a significant role in his life.

Ernie Johnson Jr is open about his Christian faith and has spoken about how it guides his actions and decisions. His strong moral compass and commitment to integrity have earned him respect both on and off the screen.

Ernie Johnson Jr has overcome personal challenges.

In 2003, Ernie Johnson Jr was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He underwent treatment and successfully beat the disease, returning to his broadcasting duties with even more resilience and determination.

Ernie Johnson Jr is a versatile broadcaster.

While primarily known for his work in basketball broadcasting, Ernie Johnson Jr has also covered other sports, including baseball and golf. His versatile skills and ability to adapt to different sports have made him a trusted voice in the industry.

Ernie Johnson Jr is known for his camaraderie with fellow broadcasters.

Ernie Johnson Jr’s infectious personality and genuine camaraderie with his colleagues have made him a beloved figure in the broadcasting world. He has formed strong bonds with fellow analysts and has been praised for his teamwork and chemistry.

Ernie Johnson Jr is an author.

In addition to his broadcasting career, Ernie Johnson Jr is also a published author. He has written a memoir titled “Unscripted: The Unpredictable Moments That Make Life Extraordinary,” where he reflects on his life experiences and offers inspirational insights.

Ernie Johnson Jr is a family man.

Despite his busy schedule, Ernie Johnson Jr prioritizes his family. He is a devoted husband and father, often sharing heartfelt stories about his family on air and demonstrating the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Ernie Johnson Jr has received the Sports Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award.

In recognition of his outstanding contributions to sports broadcasting, Ernie Johnson Jr was honored with the Sports Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award in This prestigious accolade solidifies his place among the all-time greats in the industry.

Ernie Johnson Jr has a unique sense of humor.

Known for his quick wit and charm, Ernie Johnson Jr brings a lightheartedness and humor to his broadcasts. His humorous banter with his colleagues often creates memorable moments that fans eagerly anticipate.

Ernie Johnson Jr is deeply respected by athletes and colleagues.

Ernie Johnson Jr’s professionalism, warmth, and genuine interest in people have earned him the respect and admiration of athletes, fellow broadcasters, and viewers alike. He is widely regarded as one of the most beloved figures in sports broadcasting.

Ernie Johnson Jr has experience in news journalism.

Before his tenure in sports broadcasting, Ernie Johnson Jr worked as a news reporter and anchor for various television stations. His background in journalism contributes to his exceptional interviewing skills and ability to deliver news with clarity.

Ernie Johnson Jr has hosted the MLB All-Star Game.

Ernie Johnson Jr’s versatility as a broadcaster led to him hosting the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, showcasing his ability to adapt to different sports and deliver a captivating broadcast experience for fans.

Ernie Johnson Jr has a strong social media presence.

Beyond his on-screen appearances, Ernie Johnson Jr actively engages with fans through social media platforms. He shares behind-the-scenes moments, interacts with viewers, and spreads positivity through his online presence.

Ernie Johnson Jr is admired for his interviewing skills.

As a seasoned broadcaster, Ernie Johnson Jr has conducted numerous interviews with athletes and coaches, showcasing his ability to ask insightful questions and elicit engaging responses. His interviews are often highlights of his broadcasts.

Ernie Johnson Jr is known for his memorable catchphrases.

Ernie Johnson Jr has coined several catchphrases that have become synonymous with his broadcasts. His charismatic delivery and memorable lines have become part of the fabric of sports broadcasting.

Ernie Johnson Jr is a mentor to aspiring broadcasters.

Ernie Johnson Jr is passionate about encouraging and guiding the next generation of broadcasters. He actively mentors aspiring journalists and shares his expertise and experiences to help them succeed in the industry.

Ernie Johnson Jr values authenticity in his broadcasts.

Ernie Johnson Jr’s genuine approach and authenticity have resonated with viewers. He prioritizes transparency and delivering an honest portrayal of the sports events he covers, earning the trust and loyalty of his audience.

Ernie Johnson Jr has a strong connection with the Atlanta community.

As a resident of Atlanta, Ernie Johnson Jr has developed a deep connection with the city and its sports teams. His passion for Atlanta sports is evident in his broadcasts, and he is considered an honorary member of the local sports community.

Ernie Johnson Jr’s impact extends beyond sports broadcasting.

Ernie Johnson Jr’s influence reaches beyond the realm of sports broadcasting. His philanthropic efforts, inspirational storytelling, and positive demeanor have made him a role model for many and have solidified his place as a beloved figure in the entertainment industry.


Ernie Johnson Jr. is undoubtedly one of the most intriguing figures in the world of sports broadcasting. His remarkable career and inspiring personal journey have made him a beloved and respected figure among fans and colleagues alike. From his early days as a sports anchor to his current role as the host of TNT’s Inside the NBA, Johnson has proven time and time again that he is a true professional and a class act.

Whether it’s his unwavering commitment to journalistic integrity, his genuine and empathetic nature, or his unwavering passion for the game, Ernie Johnson Jr. has left an indelible impact on the world of sports and beyond. His humility, authenticity, and devotion to his family are traits that make him not just a great broadcaster, but a great human being.

As we continue to enjoy Ernie’s unparalleled talent and charisma on our screens, let us also appreciate the incredible journey that has shaped him into the exceptional person he is today.


1. How long has Ernie Johnson Jr. been in the broadcasting industry?

Ernie Johnson Jr. has been in the broadcasting industry for over three decades. He began his career as a sports anchor in 1977 and has since become one of the most recognizable and respected voices in sports broadcasting.

2. What is Ernie Johnson Jr.’s role on TNT’s Inside the NBA?

Ernie Johnson Jr. is the host of TNT’s Inside the NBA, a popular sports talk show that covers the latest news, highlights, and analysis from the world of basketball. He leads the panel of basketball experts, including Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, and Kenny Smith.

3. Has Ernie Johnson Jr. received any awards for his work?

Yes, Ernie Johnson Jr. has received numerous awards for his outstanding contributions to sports broadcasting. He has been honored with multiple Emmy Awards for Outstanding Studio Host and Outstanding Sports Personality, among others.

4. How has Ernie Johnson Jr.’s personal journey influenced his career?

Ernie Johnson Jr.’s personal journey, including his battle with cancer and the adoption of his two sons, has greatly influenced his career. It has taught him valuable lessons about resilience, empathy, and the importance of family, which he brings to his work as a broadcaster.

5. Is Ernie Johnson Jr. involved in any philanthropic efforts?

Yes, Ernie Johnson Jr. is actively involved in philanthropic efforts. He is a dedicated supporter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and has used his platform to raise awareness and funds for various charitable organizations.

6. Does Ernie Johnson Jr. have any other interests outside of broadcasting?

Outside of broadcasting, Ernie Johnson Jr. is an avid golfer and enjoys spending time on the golf course. He also values spending quality time with his family and cherishes the moments he gets to spend with them.

Ernie Johnson Jr's remarkable journey as a sports broadcaster is truly inspiring. If you enjoyed learning about his life, you might also find the stories of other talented individuals in the world of sports media captivating. Discover the incredible achievements of Doris Burke, a trailblazing sports broadcaster who has paved the way for women in the industry. Michael Wilbon's contributions to sports journalism are equally noteworthy, as he has become a respected voice in the field. For fans of the game, exploring fascinating basketball facts can enhance your appreciation for the sport and its rich history.

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