If you’re a regular watcher of NBA basketball, there’s a good chance you’ve seen “Inside the NBA” with Charles Barkley, Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, and Shaquille O’Neal.
Often dubbed the most entertaining NBA coverage crew, their chemistry on the air is some of the best we’ve seen — and much of that can be attributed to their awesome personalities and years of experience being on tv together.
When it comes to Barkley and Shaq specifically, though, their relationship goes a bit deeper.
Previewing a documentary featuring the four ex-players, the origin story of Shaq and Barkley’s relationship came to light, and it’s all fans have been talking about since.
“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,” said Shaq.
“‘You better not put your hands on my baby,’ And I’m like ‘who is this?’ It’s mama Barkley and I was like ‘hello?’ And she’s like ‘yeah, I’m on the phone with your mama.’ and his mom my mom on a three-way. She said ‘ don’t you know we’ve been best friends for about 20-30 years? Now after the game, you go and give him a hug. Y’all don’t need to be fighting on TV like that.’
So that’s how me and him became cool.”
From that moment forth, 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.'”
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 19, 2021
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.