Charles Barkley compared his famous altercation with then-Lakers star Shaquille O’Neal in 1999 to two girls fighting.
Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal are two of the greatest players of all time. The former, despite being an undersized forward, was able to play way above his height. Whereas, Shaq was a 7-foot beast who asserted his dominance on both sides of the paint.
The big men had pretty eminent careers. Between the two, they have 26 All-Star appearances, 25 All-NBA selections, and 2 MVPs.
Today, the co-panelists on TNT’s Inside the NBA are great friends and some of the most loved TV personalities. However, during their playing days, Barkley and O’Neal absolutely detested each other and would go at it with each other whenever they got the chance.
These legends have gotten into numerous altercations throughout their careers, however, their 1999 clash was among the most famous ones.
“I wasn’t going to let Shaquille O’Neal embarrass me in front of 18,000 people”: Charles Barkley
Back in 1999, the Houston Rockets hosted the Los Angeles Lakers. During one of the plays, things got a little physical as Sir Charles tried to get a bucket for his team. As the “Big Aristotle” prevented the Houston forward to do so, “The Round Mound of Rebound” threw the ball at the 7-footer. Soon, an entire army of men was required to separate the two hotheads.
Have a look at the feud.
A few punches later, both the players were tossed out of the game.
Years later, Barkley about this fight. Comparing the fight to girls quarreling, the Hall-Of-Famer said:
“I also didn’t think that was going to turn into a fight. But first of all, it was an NBA fight, so we fought like girls and it didn’t last very long. But I wasn’t going to let him embarrass me in front of 18,000 people. So you have to fight at some point, but I’m glad nobody got hurt because he’s a great friend and I enjoy working with him.”
To this day, both these hilarious figures argue over who the real winner of this particular altercation was.