Charles Barkley and Shaq going at each other will never not be funny to most viewers. Except for Brook Lopez, who’ll feel hard done by tonight.
The rivalry between Chuck and Shaq dates back to their time in the league. The greatness of both these behemoths of human beings came from how they dominated the painted region.
Chuck and Shaq were both excellent rebounders who could expertly corral the ball off multiple big men competing with them. This allowed their teams to dump the ball to both of them in the post or go and get it on the offensive glass.
However, both dominant big men were suspect at defending guards and faster wings on switches. A lack of lateral swiftness is the common denominator between most big men of the era.
Now, this didn’t mean their weaknesses were debilitating to their teams’ defense, but it was definitely a factor. It meant that their teams would have to play them in drop coverage. And this meant it was a field day for the likes of Tim Hardaway Sr and Kevin Johnson.
It’s quite funny, therefore, to see them arguing who the worse defender was on live TV. We haven’t seen them take the mickey out of the other on the less glamorous end of the ball much.
Charles Barkley and Shaq roast each other for their defense
Charles Barkley went after the Milwaukee Bucks for losing Game 1 because of their drop coverage on Trae Young:
“The Atlanta Hawks got lucky in Game 1 that the Milwaukee Bucks had the worst defensive strategy in the history of strategization.”
Shaq wasn’t quite having that, pointing out how the Bucks’ drop coverage in Game 2 was significantly different in terms of how and when the help for Brook arrived and where they shepherded Trae. He might as well have been talking to a wall, judging from Chuck’s response:
“First of all, you don’t know nothing about no defense.”
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) June 27, 2021
As always with Chuck and Shaq, they’re only doing this half-seriously. But then you have to find some inkling of truth to this, one way or the other.