The “Inside the NBA” crew isn’t broadcasting live on location during the playoffs, but the broadcast team left a lasting mark on one Milwaukee neighborhood the last time they were in town.
Ernie Johnson, the main host of that “Inside the NBA” broadcast, grew up in Enderis Park on Milwaukee’s west side.
While they were in town broadcasting from the Deer District two years ago, they took time for a special homecoming block party.
WISN 12 News went back to that neighborhood Friday and caught up with the homeowners who said they still think about that special night every day.
Enderis Park turned out that night in 2019, as NBA studio host Ernie Johnson returned to his childhood home with some larger-than-life friends.
”Ernie Johnson brought us to his neighborhood,” Shaquille O’Neil said in 2019.
”Y’all want to take a picture?” Charles Barkley asked in 2019.
”People were just stopping and going, ‘Oh!’ looking at Shaq and everybody in the front yard,” NBA house party host Kim Nelson said.
”It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for us,” host Pat Nelson said.
Homeowners Kim and Pat Nelson said they’re still in awe of the day they welcomed those sports celebrities and the eyes of the nation into their home.
”Charles came in the den and he flops himself down in the Lazy Boy, and he’s like, ‘I could sleep forever,’” Kim Nelson said.
”It was fun watching Shaq bend over to walk through our house,” Pat Nelson said.
”Yeah, through the thresholds,” Kim Nelson said.
They said they’d welcome the crew back anytime.
But they probably won’t get that chance this year, as the pandemic has kept the broadcasters in their studio and away from Milwaukee.
”I think the city lost out this year with not as much hoopla,” Kim Nelson said.
But that hasn’t dimmed the memories of that special night in this neighborhood.
”What a cool night. And Pat and Kim Nelson, who own the house now, thank you so much,” Johnson said during a broadcast in 2019.
”You guys were in the national spotlight,” WISN 12 News reporter Kent Wainscott said.
”Yeah, our names were mentioned that one night. That was pretty cool,” Pat Nelson said.
For now, they’re keeping a close eye on the Bucks current playoff run.
”Yeah, we’ll be watching it,” Kim Nelson said.
”I like the pre-game more, because my buddies are on there,” Pat Nelson said.
The Nelsons said they actually do connect with Johnson periodically.
Kim even sent a quilt that she made for his mother.
The Nelsons couldn’t say enough nice things about Shaq and Charles and the rest. They told WISN 12 News there’s an open invitation to “come on back anytime.”
Shaq, Charles Barkley join Ernie Johnson for BBQ at his childhood home
Ernie Johnson shares brunch in Wauwatosa with Bucks fans
Homecoming: Broadcaster Ernie Johnson returns to Milwaukee