Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley are entering the championship rounds.
While TNT's NBA studio show can lack hard-hitting analysis at times, it more than makes up for it with hard-hitting banter. Shaq and Chuck bring plenty of hoops acumen to the analyst's table, but they also bring a (sometimes unfriendly) rivalry, and that aspect was on full display again Thursday night.
Debating the Trail Blazers' lackluster first half vs. the Nets, O'Neal, the four-time NBA champ and three-time MVP, exchanged verbal blows with Barkley, eventually leading to some good bulletin board material from Sir Charles.
Shaq: "I speak from not being a great defensive player, but having championship experience. I know what the hell I'm talking about."— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) August 14, 2020
Chuck: "Don't forget about Kobe and Dwyane Wade carrying your fat ass." pic.twitter.com/mbbNfRfQqA
"Don't forget about Kobe and Dwyane Wade carrying your fat ass," Barkley jested during the exchange.
That wasn't the end of the verbal sparring between the two, though, as Chuck took a page out of Urban Dictionary for a choice insult of 2020 America.
“You better quit yelling at me Karen.”— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) August 14, 2020
Chuck to Shaq pic.twitter.com/5bCTAHz0Yw
"You better quit yelling at me, Karen," Barkley said.
Barkley has called Shaq a "fat ass" on more than one occasion, so he just added another entry into the pantheon. In any case, the back-and-forth between the two seems to be all in good fun, as they haven't come to blows (yet) on TV.
As long as Shaq doesn't pen a dis track for Barkley — or they don't end up on TNT's "AEW Dynamite" — then this should all just blow over once again.