Shaq and Charles Barkley are two magnets with the same polarity being forced together. Yes, they have a lot in common, but they can’t coexist peacefully in a confined space. That’s why they sit on opposite ends of the table during TNT’s halftime shows. Never a dull moment with these two:
Shaq: Chuck, you have no idea what you’re talking about because you’ve only been to the finals once.
Barkely: I wasn’t riding on Dwayne Wade and Kobe’s coat tails
Shaq: People question why you’re in the hall of fame anyway
The two former players can’t stand each other but also enjoy each other’s company. Ah, the duality of man. TNT has stumbled onto a gold mine with these two. Depending on who’s playing, halftime is more entertaining than the game because you never know what’s gonna happen.
It’s tough not to smile watching the TNT studio crew trade insults. The unscripted nature of the show gives the viewer what feels like backstage access to what really goes on behind the scenes.
Shaq and Chuck’s antics have been good for both of their brands, especially Chuck’s. His gig with TNT re-legitimized him. There was a stretch, post-retirement, where Barkley was little more than a punchline; a clown-man who could be found in Vegas getting a bit too drunk for his own good.
Now, with partner in crime/arch-nemesis, Shaq, at his side, Chuck is once again a respectable celebrity. Still not a role model, but he’s trending in the right direction.