Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley have one of the most unique relationships in sports. It’s a true love-hate bond filled with genuine respect, but both Hall-of-Famers relish the opportunity to jab the other.
This was on full display Wednesday night when O’Neal threatened to slap his Inside the NBA co-star. According to TMZ Sports, O’Neal was attending his own surprise birthday bash in Atlanta, when he grabbed the microphone to entertain the crowd of 250 people with a freestyle performance. The highlight of the near 10-minute freestyle session was O’Neal’s line about Barkley.
“Tomorrow I’m on TNT, with f***ing Kenny, with f***ing Chuck, I might Will Smith his a** I don’t give a f***,” Shaq joked.
That’s right, Will Smith is officially a verb. After storming the Oscars stage to slap Chris Rock on national television, everyone now recognizes the term “Will Smith” for having meaning beyond being the name of an Academy Award-winning actor.
The crowd erupted at Shaq’s quip, but this was far from being the first time The Big Aristotle menaced Chuck with physical violence. Throughout their tenure on TNT, O’Neal has threatened to throw down, knock out and punch Barkley on various occasions.
Barkley certainly isn’t one to back down from a media scuffle, having threatened to kill Skip Bayless and “whoop” Shaq’s a**. Despite the numerous threats, the one time Shaq and Chuck did come to blows occurred on the basketball court where the only punch is thrown was a big swing and a miss by O’Neal.
Barkley, O’Neal, and the entire Inside the NBA crew will return to TNT on Thursday, March 31 after missing the last two weeks because of the NCAA Tournament.