Charles Barkley on the first time he saw Shaq: “Damn he ugly!”

Charles Barkley on the first time he saw Shaq: “Damn he ugly!”

Even though both of them left illustrious Hall-of-Fame basketball careers behind them, nowadays Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley are quite possibly even more known for being fierce rivals on the NBA on TNT set. Shaq and Charles are great friends, but when it comes to debating about basketball and more, the two become some of the most heated opponents you will ever see.

That rivalry creates a different dimension for the show, bringing some fire and competitiveness the fans love to see. The two show no hesitation when going at each other, which usually results in hilarious TV moments. Last night, it was no different.

During the halftime show of the HawksBucks game, Charles showed his admiration for the game’s evolution and big men, referencing a couple of guys like KD, Giannis, and even Shaq in the sense of players over 7 feet tall that can move fast and be stronger than everybody else. Of course, in Chuck’s way, he couldn’t just compliment Shaq, so he threw in a hilarious dig at the big man.

Shaq, Kevin Durant, this kid here (Giannis). I’m trying to think. 7-feet guys who are like, wow, to be that big, that strong, and that fast, it’s hard to match it. Like the first time I saw Shaq in person I said, number one, ‘damn, he ugly.’

Charles Barkley, NBA on TNT

Even Shaq, who is labeled as sensitive and often doesn’t like to be on the other end of jokes, had to laugh at this hilarious dig from Barkley. But amidst the joke, Charles made a great point.

Nowadays, we are seeing more and more guys of that size be able to move fast and be more skillful with the ball. Back in the day, Shaq was one of the rare players able to combine that kind of size, strength, and speed. Even Charles himself had all those tools but lacked the size, so seeing players blessed with those god-given attributes left an impact on him.

This combination of interesting subjects and impeccable humor from the crew is precisely why NBA on TNT has been the most successful basketball show of this generation.

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