Charles Barkley cracks on Shaq: His soda 'spreads diabetes all across the world'
The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences announced its list of nominees for the 35th annual Sports Emmy Awards this week, and somehow Charles Barkley was left off the list. The TNT commentator -- who won back-to-back Emmys in 2012 and 2013 in the Outstanding Personality, Studio Analyst category -- reminded everyone once again on Thursday that no one does the job better.
Working CBS's college basketball studio show with host Greg Gumbel and fellow analysts Clark Kellogg and Kenny Smith, the Hall of Famer got on a roll when told of a Twitter message written by TNT colleague Shaquille O'Neal.
"Charles Barkley, your belly looks tired, you should rest [it] on the desk," O'Neal wrote.
Gumbel set the table for the counter-punching by making mention of O'Neal's wealth. Sir Charles took it from there.
"Oh my god, If [O'Neal] ever got my bank account, he would just kill himself," Barkley said. "He's on every commercial. He's got enough lotion to last him the rest of his life. ... [He's] got that cream soda, spreading diabetes all across the world, as we speak. Got like 50 grams of soda in one can of that cream soda."
For the record, O'Neal's career NBA earnings, not including endorsements, totaled more than $292 million. Barkley pulled down $40 million in total NBA salary.
As it turns out, AriZona Beverage's "Soda Shaq" line of cream sodas -- which are sold in Vanilla, Blueberry, Strawberry and Orange flavors -- has previously drawn criticism for its sugar content. The Center for Science in the Public Interest released a statement in July 2013 that called O'Neal a hypocrite for pitching the drink while also being involved in health initiatives.
"Clearly, Shaq knows better," CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson said in a statement. "He has said he avoids soda himself, and worries about obesity and diabetes. But he's now using his name, face, and reputation to make those health problems even bigger. It's shameful hypocrisy, presumably motivated by money."
A BevReview.com rundown of Soda Shaq noted that each 23.5-ounce can actually has 70.5 grams of sugar.