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Among the many bizarre aspects of Monday night’s locker-room scrap between the Rockets and Clippers was the reported involvement involvement of the Los Angeles Police Department. After all, professional athletes confront each other during and after games all the time, and the situations generally calm down pretty quickly without any police involvement. These aren’t life-or-death situations, just occasions for dudes to blow off some steam and show off how tough they are without actually hurting anyone.

Maybe that’s why Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal could hardly contain themselves on Inside the NBA when they learned the police had been called to the Staples Center.

“I played in the NBA for 16 years, and I’ve been on TV for 18 years, and this is the first time I’ve ever heard of a police presence,” Barkley said between guffaws.

Shaq was so beside himself about the police being called that he started crumpling the paper in front of him and throwing it in the air. When he stopped laughing hysterically, he mimicked the Clippers: “Hello police, Chris Paul trying to beat me up.” Barkley responded with a more high-pitched version of the same impression: “This is Blake Griffin. Chris Paul tried to get in the locker room. Get down here and save me.”

Kenny Smith repeatedly attempted to explain Barkley and Shaq’s reaction but was largely drowned out by uproarious laughter.

The whole thing made for a wildly entertaining 90 seconds of television.

The Inside the NBA team sometimes takes heat for having basketball opinions that… don’t entirely check out, but every once in a while Chuck, Shaq and company remind you why they have the most watchable studio show in sports. The NBA is often a deeply ridiculous league, and sometimes it requires deeply ridiculous reactions. In those situations, Inside the NBA is always there for us.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.