Following the San Antonio Spurs’ late road victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, the team’s star guard Tony Parker joined NBA TV for a postgame interview on the league-owned network’s “NBA GameTime” program.
For those unfamiliar with NBA TV, it’s basically the NFL Network of basketball, and “GameTime” is their “Total Access.” Usually, you can find Rick Kamla hosting the show (then again, he’s been getting up early for his new radio gig) so on this night, it was Ernie Johnson – a face you might recognize from TNT and Turner Sports – hosting the show, with former NBA player Chris Webber serving as the in-studio analyst.
That is, until Johnson invited Parker on “GameTime.” That’s when Webber morphed into in-studio analyst and equal opportunity nationality baiter.
As soon as Johnson introduced Parker to viewers, you can hear Webber in the background screaming, “Oui, oui!”, followed by a hearty fake French laugh.
“There’s nothing I can do about him, Tony, I’m sorry,” said an apologetic Johnson. But when Parker replied that “C-Webb… can say whatever he wants,” Webber shot back: “Thank you, my French friend,” peppered with some more fake French laughter.
At the end of the interview, Johnson noted that he was pleased that the former Mr. Eva Longoria is no longer battling a stomach virus that sidelined him for a few games early in the season.
That apparently was a greenlight for Webber, who was virtually useless during the intelligent portion of the segment, to try and get another French lick in. He asked Parker, not once, but twice, if it was “French fries” that caused his gastrointestinal illness.
“No, C-Webb,” Parker awkwardly replied.
And as Johnson sent Parker off, Webber wished him, “Au revoir,” and then threw in an “adios” for good measure.
Now, it didn’t seem like Parker minded the ersatz ethnicity of Webber.
But let’s see ol’ C-Webb pull a fake Chinese accent when Jeremy Lin appears on “GameTime.”
I mean, if Ben & Jerry’s couldn’t even package an innocent flavor of ice cream as a tribute to Lin (removal of fortune cookies from the containers), then Chris Webber joking about French fries being responsible for Belgian-born Tony Parker’s stomach flu shouldn’t be no different.
Or maybe I shouldn’t be begging for merci.
(Hat tip to Mike Taylor, who played the audio of the video on today’s show.)