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“Shaq, you the worst big man defender in the history of basketball”: Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal’s argument escalates into a roast battle

Arjun Julka

"Shaq, you the worst big man defender in the history of basketball": Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal's argument escalates into a roast battle

TNT analysts Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley engage in mudslinging while discussing the 2021 eastern conference semi-finals between Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks.

The award-winning show Inside the NBA is incomplete without the constant bickering between Hall of Famers Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley. The two legends could go on for hours arguing with each other. Both Shaq and Chuck are known to be strong-headed personalities.

The two icons never shy away from throwing shots at each other. Whether it is Shaq taunting Chuck for winning zero championships rings or the latter roasting Shaq for riding on Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade’s coattails.

During the 2021 eastern conference finals, the two TNT analysts got into another heated argument. This time involving the defensive strategies of the Milwaukee Bucks in Games One and Two.

Also read: “Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley have no idea what they’re arguing about”: Chuck responds to NBA fans trolling him and Shaq

“The Atlanta Hawks got lucky in Game 1 that the Milwaukee Bucks had the worst defensive strategy in the history of civilization,” said Chuck, to which Shaq disagreed. What followed was both former MVPs going back and forth against each other.

Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley engage in slander.

While arguing about the defensive strategies of Milwaukee Bucks in Games One and Two, both Shaq and Chuck couldn’t help but engage in bickering, escalating the situation to a point where they question each other defensive games.

Shaq: “First of all, you don’t know nothing about no defense.” 

Chuck: “You were an awful defensive player on the pick-and-roll… I was a better defender than you.” 

Shaq: “No, you wasn’t.” 

Chuck: “You the worst big man defender in the history of basketball, other than Brook Lopez in Game 1.”

Thus if we compare Shaq and Chuck’s defensive performances during their active days, Shaq leads the race as far as All-NBA Defensive Team selections are concerned with a 3-0 lead.

However, Chuck exceeded Shaq in career SPG and RPG. While Barkley had 11.7 RPG and 1.5 SPG, O’Neal had 10.9 RPG and 0.6 SPG. Nonetheless, Shaq was dominant in BPG.

Also read: “You better not put your hands on my baby”: When Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley’s on-court brawl in Lakers game was broken up by their mothers

Though these legends regularly spar at each other during discussions, they do share a mutual respect. Both Shaq and Chuck have revolutionized sports broadcasting.

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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