Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley have had a bit of a feud going on for a while now. It’s probably just a playful feud between the TNT analysts, but who really knows for sure with these two characters.
And some of these arguments have gotten pretty heated. That was the case during multiple Inside the NBA discussions (examples here and here) — about LeBron James a few months back, for example. During one of those arguments in January, Shaq told Barkley, “First of all, you know nothin’ about going back-to-back.”
Well, after Game 4 of the Cavs-Celtics Eastern Conference Finals on Tuesday night, O’Neal went back to the topic of Barkley not knowing what it takes to win championships: “You have no idea what we’re talking about, because you’ve only been to the Finals once.” And Chuck snapped back with, “I wasn’t riding on Dwyane Wade and Kobe’s coattails.”
Things didn’t get any friendlier from there. O’Neal called Barkley a “bum”, questioned Barkley’s Hall of Fame worthiness, and threatened to punch Barkley. Obviously Barkley had a response to that, which included a threat to “throw chicken wings” at Shaq’s “fat ass.”
Here’s the full exchange, which seemed to even make Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith a tad uncomfortable:
The Chuck vs. @SHAQ saga continues on #InsidetheNBA… ? pic.twitter.com/dPMXWc0XLL
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 24, 2017
Shaq: “You don’t want to mess around, Chuck? You have no idea what we’re talking about, because you’ve only been to the Finals once.”
Barkley: “I wasn’t riding on Dwyane Wade and Kobe’s coattails.”
Shaq: “It doesn’t matter, Chuck. I got the same thing you got, and I passed you up 10 years ago.”
Barkley: “If I had been riding on Kobe’s coattails, and Dwyane Wade’s. And Alonzo Mourning’s too, I forgot about him. And Rick Fox. Rick Fox.”
Shaq: “People question why you’re in the Hall of Fame anyway, bum.”
Ernie Johnson: “Why did that get so personal when we’re just talking about Game 5?”
Shaq: “No because Chuck’s always interrupting. Don’t interrupt me, Chuck, or I’m going to punch you right in your face, I’m telling you.”
Barkley: “If you hit me, we’re gonna be moving the furniture. I’m gonna throw one of these chicken wings at your fat ass.”
Shaq then posted a video on Instagram of the crew eating food, and kept calling Chuck a “fat boy”, which made Chuck laugh:
So, yeah, these guys probably like each other just fine, and most of their jabbing is likely in good fun. But Tuesday night’s exchange got a bit weird and personal.
And that certainly makes for entertaining television! I’m looking forward to Inside the NBA on Thursday night much more than the actual basketball game between the Cavs and Celtics.