If you’ve come from a family with kids of similar ages, you’ve probably seen this yourself… Heck, this particular reporter can relate from personal experience. We’re talking about the trash-talking and other crazy ways relationships show themselves over the years.
We mention this because it now seems that’s what we’ve been witnessing between Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley, mostly on the set of TNT’s “Inside the NBA” program (and sometimes out in the real world, too.) The Big Man and “Sir Charles” are always on the far opposite sides of the announcer’s table on the popular cable TV program… and they’re usually on opposite sides of discussions about players and teams as well.
Along with Shaq and Barkley, the other regulars are Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith. Often, those two are mere witnesses to the heated discussions between O’Neal and Barkley. Often dubbed the most entertaining NBA coverage crew, their chemistry on the air is some of the best to be found in the cable-verse.
Now we’re finding out that the occasional on-screen squabble between Shaq and Barkley are probably just like a couple of young kids – brothers – who harp at each other in the backyard. A new story from our friends at www.BleacherReport.com quotes Shaq as saying if he had a brother, he’d hope it would be somebody like Charles Barkley.
Seems there’s a documentary in the works that’s going to include stories of Barkley, Shaq and a few others. On it, Shaq talks about one of the first times he and Barkley got hot on the set of Inside the NBA. He says within minutes, one of the in-studio, behind-the-scenes workers was handing him a phone.
Shaq describes what happened: “So, we get into our little scuffle and as soon as I get to the thing, Jerome hands me the phone, and I hear this lady’s voice that I never heard before.”
The woman said, “You better not put your hands on my baby.” Shaq asked who he was talking to. Shaq continues, “It’s mama Barkley… and I was like ‘hello?’ And she’s like ‘yeah, I’m on the phone with your mama.”
Seems the moms had been talking to each other, and Barkley’s mom told Shaq’s mom their sons had been “best friends for about 20-30 years.” Barkley’s mom told Shaq to give her son a hug and that “Y’all don’t need to be fighting on TV like that.”
Shaq finishes by saying, “So that’s how me and him became cool.” Bleacher Report says from that moment on, the two developed a brotherhood that goes way beyond basketball or whatever they might say to each other on “Inside the NBA.”
“I don’t have an older brother but if I did have an older brother, I would want him to be like Charles Barkley. My father always used to say, ‘talk to me like a man… say what you need to say.’ So we’d have these heated discussions like he’d say something I’d say something but at the end of the day, it’s like ‘I love you pops.’”
Obviously, things get heated on the set all the time, and it has led many to believe there is some real beef between Shaq and Charles. Instead, it’s just two brothers jawing at each other that, at the end of the day, won’t put any real strain on the bond that they share.