Charles Barkley Remembers When Shaq Didn’t Speak to His Co-Hosts for Two Days

Charles Barkley shares memories of his favorite ‘Inside the NBA’ moments.
Feb 16, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; TNT broadcaster Shaquille O'Neal (left) and Charles Barkley talk during the 2013 NBA All-Star slam dunk contest at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 16, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; TNT broadcaster Shaquille O'Neal (left) and Charles Barkley talk during the 2013 NBA All-Star slam dunk contest at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

1. With Inside the NBA’s future in jeopardy, fans of the TNT show have spent the last few weeks reminiscing about its best moments.

During my conversation with Charles Barkley on this week’s SI Media With Jimmy Traina podcast, I asked him if he’s spent any time watching old clips.

Barkley talked about watching the documentary TNT put out in 2021 about Inside the NBA and not remembering a lot of what the show had done.

“We have forgotten so much stuff. …You can’t just remember all the stupid stuff we did 24 years ago.”

At this point, I interjected to ask Barkley if he remembered the time Shaq tried to explain gas is cheaper if you only fill up your tank halfway.

“I actually rewatched that recently because somebody posted, ‘Please don’t take this away from me,’ and they played the whole segment about that.

“But then they played the segment when we were doing a tribute to John Glenn. This is how crazy Shaq is at times. We’re doing a tribute and Ernie [Johnson] is being all serious and then we go off the air and Shaq says, ‘Is [Atlanta] closer to the moon or L.A?’ And Ernie says, ‘What?’ He says, ‘Is it closer to the moon or L.A’? Shaq then says, ‘You can see the moon, you can’t see L.A.’

“And we’re like, ‘Turn the cameras back on. Please turn the cameras back on.’ And he’s trying to explain himself. Why you think that’s a stupid question? I walk outside, I can see the moon. I can’t see L.A. We were dying laughing. And Ernie has got this laugh where it’s uncontrollable. There’s probably been 10 to 15 times, and that was one of them, the gas story and the moon story, where he started laughing uncontrollably and there’s nothing like it. Ernie is a very serious person because he probably works the hardest on the show of anybody. But, man, when we get him on one of those laughing trips, it’s the best trip ever.”

However, Shaq getting mocked for this theories on gas and the moon didn’t anger him nearly as much as another incident, according to Barkley.

When I told Barkley my all-time favorite moment was when Shaq got livid that Barkley was talking too much one night, causing Barkley, Johnson and Kenny Smith to laugh uncontrollably at Shaq, Barkley pulled back the curtain on the fallout.

“Oh my God, he didn’t speak to us for two days,” said Barkley. “He was that pissed. He didn’t speak to us for two days. I’m not even exaggerating. The only time he talked is if we were on the air and then he’d go back. Normally we sit around together and watch the game in the same room and shoot the s--- the whole time. He was so mad about that. He was really serious about that, but we didn’t care.”

“The worst thing you can do to him is laugh at him,” Barkley added.

Barkley said plenty more on the podcast about the future of Inside the NBA, the possibility of having to work for a full season as a lame-duck crew next year and being “pissed” at CNN for never calling him to tell him his show with Gayle King, King Charles was canceled.

Other topics discussed included whether Barkley would ever agree to be the subject of a comedy roast, if he believes LeBron James doesn't have a say in the Lakers’ coaching search, the Western Conference finals, why Wayne Gretzky and Tom Brady are the nicest GOATs and much more.

You can also listen to the SI Media With Jimmy Traina below or on Apple and Spotify.

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2. Speaking of Inside the NBA, TNT analyst Jamal Crawford appeared on the Pat McAfee Show on Wednesday and compared the Ernie, Charles, Kenny and Shaq group to another iconic television quartet.

“They transcend sports," said Crawford. “They’re almost like The Golden Girls. They got their own sitcom, they’re bigger than just the sport because we all wanna know what Shaq or Charles or Kenny's gonna say and Ernie's the Godfather, so he's gonna set the stage perfectly, so we have to have them because they've been the backdrop, the soundtrack for basketball for the last 25-plus years.”

After seeing the Shaq clips in today’s first item, is there any doubt who Rose would be if we were casting the Inside the NBA crew on the Golden Girls?

3. Last season, Giants outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr. hit the 100th home run to land in McCovey Cove at Oracle Park. This type of dinger is known in San Francisco as a “Splash Hit.”

This Sunday, the Giants are giving away LaMonte Wade Jr. bobbleheads to commemorate the milestone. This will not be your typical bobblehead, though. It will actually come with a mini water cannon to make a splash.

4. Angel Hernández is gone, but Major League umpiring still has major issues. Can someone please tell me what Juan Soto is supposed to do here?

5. Twitter is awful. This isn’t breaking news. There are so many bad things about Twitter and near the top of the list is that everyone on there is a doctor.

The amount of tweets I’ve seen over the past 24 hours from people who have diagnosed Aaron Rodgers with all sorts of injuries based off this video would have you thinking Rodgers will be on crutches for the rest of his life.

It’s impossible to know exactly what’s going on with Rodgers here. It’s also three months away from the start of the season. Yet, people have Rodgers done. Wild.

6. If you’re a longtime NFL Sunday Ticket subscriber, you’ll want to check out this thread.

7. RANDOM VIDEO OF THE DAY: Happy 69th birthday to the most underrated heel in the history of pro wrestling, Jake “The Snake” Roberts.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on AppleSpotify or Google. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.

Jimmy Traina


Jimmy Traina is a media writer and podcast host for Sports Illustrated. A 20-year veteran, he’s been covering the media industry for seven years and writes a weekly column at SI, Traina Thoughts. Jimmy has hosted the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast since 2018, a show known for interviews with some of the most important and powerful people in sports media. He also was the creator and writer for SI’s Hot Clicks feature from 2007 to 2013.