Shaq May Have The Rings, And The Statues, And The Jerseys, But Chuck Has The Jokes
Eric Goldschein 10:16 am, February 10th, 2016
The last two weeks have been good to the legacy of Shaquille O'Neal -- the Lakers announced that they'll be creating a statue of the big man outside the Staples Center, and just yesterday the Heat announced they'll retire his #32 jersey and hang it in the rafters. Very cool, good for him, he deserves it.
You know who doesn't care about the legacy of Shaq? TNT colleague Charles Barkley. Chuck went ahead and trashed Shaq on national television with another A+ zinger last night. Watch:
"You're getting your statue outside the Kobe center and your jersey retired in the Wade center." Dead.
One of the great underlying themes of the "Inside The NBA" program -- if a sports commentary program can be said to have themes -- is the friendly tension between Shaq (he of many rings and accolades) and Chuck (he of no rings, but an understanding that he was really, really good). One of the best continuing story lines is how Chuck needles Shaq on the particulars of his success (i.e., that he did it with help), and how Shaq responds by either not having any idea what to say because he's a little slower on the uptake, or to point out that he has four rings, or to low-key threaten some violence. This dichotomy is much like the one between the two players' on-court style, in that... anyway, you get the picture.