Shaquille O’Neal Hilariously Refused To Pay Charles Barkley $10,000 Despite National TV Bet

Samir Mehdi
|Published November 09, 2022

One of the greatest decisions in North American sports broadcasting history was to put Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley on the same TV show. NBAonTNT did just that after Shaq had retired from the NBA following 19 seasons. The chemistry that the two possess alongside one another is unique to them alone. 

Fast-forward to present day and the core 4 of Shaq, Chuck, Ernie, and Kenny were slated to be broken apart due to Barkley wanting to retire at age 60. However, Turner Sports knew that they couldn’t let him walk away given just how beloved their segments are. So, they locked in the former Phoenix Sun by signing him to a 10-year contract worth close to $200 million. 

The ‘Round Mound of Rebound’ has always said that he wanted to retire with a good chunk of money. Well, $200 million certainly is that ‘good chunk of money’.

Also read: Charles Barkley, In A Dress, Hilariously ‘Rivaled’ Dennis Rodman’s Bizarre $10,000 Wedding Gown

Shaquille O’Neal refused to pay Charles Barkley $10,000 for spelling a word correctly 

Shaquille O’Neal has been very generous with his wealth over the years. Everything from paying for groceries for people in front of him in line to buying random kids bicycles and shoes in malls, Shaq never shied away from helping out those in need. 

Looks like ‘those in need’ doesn’t apply to Charles Barkley. While on air, Shaq made a bet with Chuck that the latter couldn’t spell the word ‘spectacular’. After a rough start and a bit of hazing from Kenny, he would finally get the spelling right. The bet he made was for $10,000. 

This led to them doing an entire spelling bee segment and prior to them starting it, Charles would hilariously call out the 4x NBA Champion for not honoring his end of the bet.

In all fairness to the Lakers legend, there were no stipulations made on what would happen if Chuck lost the bet and what O’Neal would gain from that happening. 

Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley have been fighting for over 2 decades 

Before they would engage in a war of words on ‘Inside the NBA’, they would get into it with one another on NBA hardwood. During a game between the rockets and the Lakers, they would spill into the stands while wrestling with one another. 

This would be in 1999, the same year that that Barkley would play his last season in the NBA and also the same season that Shaquille O’Neal would remain ringless.

Also read: “It’s Like You’re Either Black or White!”: When Charles Barkley Provided the Most Bizarre Analogy Dissing Analytics

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About the author

Samir Mehdi

Samir Mehdi is an NBA Editor at The Sportsrush. Ever since he was 13 years old, he’s been obsessed with the game of basketball. From watching Kobe Bryant’s highlights on YouTube to now, analyzing and breaking down every single game on League Pass, Samir’s passion for the game is unwavering. He's a complete basketball junkie who not only breaks down current games but also keenly watches ones from the 60s’ and 70s’ while also reading comprehensive books on the history of the league. Samir’s life revolves around basketball and he hopes that shows in his work. Aside from work, he loves to spend time in the gym and with his friends at social gatherings.

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