“I think Shaquille O’Neal Just Got Off-Balance”: Charles Barkley Hilariously Shuns Reports of the 7-Foot Center Lodged Into X’mas Tree Being Fake

Arjun Julka
|Published 10/12/2022

The latest episode of TNT’s Inside the NBA was nothing short of a laugh riot, with co-panelists Shaquille O’Neal and Kenny Smith recreating one of the most memorable moments from a 2014 Christmas episode, which involved The Jet shoving the former 7-foot center into an X’mas tree.

Fans of the show are familiar with the tradition of Smith racing toward the board, with his co-panelists often attempting to outrun him, whether it be Shaq, Chuck, or Ernie. However, this time around, to win, The Jet was even willing to engage in a bit of foul play.

“That was bad right there,” said Johnson on Smith pushing Shaq into the X’mas tree.

“This means war Kenny,” warned a glittery Shaq.

Ironically, this wasn’t the first time the Big Diesel found himself lodged into a Christmas tree, courtesy of The Jet. In a 2014 episode, a similar incident took place, leaving all of us with a memory to cherish for years to come.

Also read: “The Sequel We Deserved”: NBA Twitter Reacts to Kenny Smith Shoving 7-Foot Shaquille O’Neal Into a Christmas Tree Yet Again

Though the entire sequence was hilarious to watch, many felt it was preplanned, something The Chuckster would shed light upon during a recent appearance on The Dan Patrick Show.

“If you know, Shaq and Kenny, they’re not gonna be at work early to rehearse”: Charles Barkley hilariously shuts down reports of The Diesel’s X’mas tree crash being staged.

The producers at TNT account for one of the most creative minds in television history with their hilarious antics and sketches. Nonetheless, the panel of Inside the NBA deserves equal credit for their spontaneity and wit.

Post the entire sequence of Kenny sending Shaq into a Christmas tree, few reports in the media suggested the incident was scripted, something Barkley would brush aside, having been present at the venue.

“So, you know, I’ve heard people say it was fake, first of all, if you know Kenny and Shaq, they’re not gonna be at work early to rehearse nothing,” Barkley told veteran host Dan Patrick.

“If we go on a 7, Kenny’s gonna show up at 6:52, yeah he’s not gonna be there that early, I think what just really happened, I think Shaq just got off-balance. I don’t think Kenny really meant to knock him down that hard into the tree.”

(Time Stamp: 5:14 seconds)

Barkley would hilariously take a dig at Shaq’s fitness and age, drawing parallels to an NBA player at the later stages of his career, who can run but cannot stop.

Inside the NBA: A revolutionary show in sports broadcasting history.

One of the most beloved shows, Inside the NBA has entertained us for more than 3-decades now. The casual nature of the show changed the otherwise bland format of pregame shows.

Not to forget the camaraderie between the esteemed panel, never seizing to entertain with their wit.

Also read: 7-footer Shaquille O’Neal left howling as Kenny Smith embarrassed Guinness record holder at his own game


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About the author
Arjun Julka

Arjun Julka

Arjun Julka is a NBA author at The SportsRush. Basketball isn’t just a sport for this 26-year-old, who hails from Mumbai. He began watching the sport after stumbling upon a court in his society, helping him identify an undiscovered passion for the game of hoops. Now an ardent fan, Arjun supports Stephen Curry and the Warriors but also enjoys watching Giannis Antetokounmpo own the paint. When it comes to the GOAT debate, the TSR author feels LeBron James is yet to receive a lot of his due but cannot deny marveling at Michael Jordan’s resume.

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