The “Inside the NBA” hosts on TNT frequently throw verbal jabs at one another, but early Wednesday morning things went a little further as Shaquille O’Neal threatened to knock out Charles Barkley on national TV.
It happened in a postgame segment after the Golden Warriors beat the Houston Rockets 115-109 to take a 2-0 in their series.
The hosts were doing a segment sponsored by Tissot watches where they had three minutes to preview Game 2 of the Denver-Portland series. They were supposed to get one minute each, but Barkley went way over his allotted time by jumping in out of turn after Kenny Smith spoke with another comment — which roiled Shaq.
And it was a ridiculous comment, which steamed O’Neal even more.
Barkley offered a suggestion for how the Trail Blazers should defend the Nuggets’ Nikola Jokic: “I would put Alex Len on Joker (Jokic) a little bit more.”
Co-host Ernie Johnson pointed that Len isn’t on the Blazers, he’s on the Atlanta Hawks.
Barkley corrected himself saying, “Meyers, Meyers, Meyers Leonard. My bad.”
When Johnson tried to kick it to O’Neal for his comments, the clock already had run down to about 30 seconds. Shaq wasn’t interested.
“Do me a favor, go back over there,” O’Neal told Johnson, pointing to Barkley. “He’s gonna take up the whole damn segment. I’m not saying nothing.”
“You do that all the time. It’s supposed to be 1, 2, 3, not 1, 2, 1,” Shaq continued, appearing to be legitimately peeved at Barkley. “Go back over there to the know-it-all.”
Barkley was laughing and called O’Neal “Mr. Sensitive.”
“Ain’t no Mr. Sensitive,” he said. “Do it again, I’m telling you right now.”
Barkley couldn’t resist. “Mr. Sensitive,” he said.
“I ain’t sensitive,” O’Neal said. “I’m going to knock your ass out on national TV. I’m telling you right now.”
Barkley, Smith and Johnson were all laughing then. Johnson was doubled over on the desk, and one of them was laughing so hard he was snorting.
“It’s supposed to be 1, 2, 3 — not 1, 2, back to 1,” O’Neal reiterated. “Dumbass.”
Never seen Ernie just lose it the way he is on Inside the NBA right now and it’s absolute gold lmao
— Andrew G. Haubner (@A_G_Haubner) May 1, 2019
Smith tried to chime in by talking about a conversation they all had earlier off-air. Shaq was having none of it.
“Kenny, I ain’t in the mood for jokes right now,” he said. Then he told Barkley, “I’m going to throw this metal damn can at your ass.”
He gonna slap everyone but Ernie @NBAonTNT ???
— Matt Barnes (@Matt_Barnes22) May 1, 2019
“People at home know me, I ain’t playing right now,” O’Neal said. “You took up a minute and 20 seconds with that dumbass answer.”
Johnson at this point walked behind the desk, laughing. Then he came back and said: “Alex Len sitting on his couch somewhere went, ‘Huh? What? Who am I guarding?'”
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