May 9 (UPI) — Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal got extra heated about winning — and not winning — NBA titles.
O’Neal’s career included four NBA titles. He won three of those rings with the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant. He won the other title in 2006 with Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat. The Hall of Famer might have played alongside greatness, but he also was a three-time NBA Finals MVP.
He was proud to remind Barkley of that nugget on his resume during Tuesday’s NBA on TNT broadcast of Inside the NBA.
The Hall of Fame duo got into a spirited spat while talking about Toronto Raptors coach Dwane Casey and the idea of him winning Coach of the Year.
First, Barkley talked about how Casey needs to repair his relationship with DeMar DeRozan. O’Neal disagreed with that sentiment.
DeRozan was benched in Game 3 of the Raptors’ Eastern Conference series loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Barkley called the move disrespectful. He said that if a coach doesn’t have a “great relationship” with the best player on the team, that team is never going to win.
O’Neal interjected by saying that he didn’t see “eye-to-eye” with former Heat coach Pat Riley. Barkley then said that Wade was “the man on that team.”
“You don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to championships,” O’Neal said.
“Dwyane Wade carried you to that championship,” Barkley responded.
Barkley was an 11-time All-Star and 11-time All-NBA selection in his own right, but he never won a championship during his 16-year NBA tenure.
O’Neal then said that coaches have to stop babying players and said that Barkley himself was babied and that’s why he didn’t win a title.
Barkley fired back a haymaker.
“I didn’t have Dwyane Wade and Kobe Bryant carry me up and down the court,” Barkley said.
“I got three Finals MVPs Chuck,” O’Neal said. “Google me.”
O’Neal pointed to the ring on his finger during that retort.
Fellow analyst Kenny Smith finally interjected, agreeing with Barkley that Casey needs to “address” the DeRozan situation.
After seeing the heated exchange, fellow Hall of Famer Reggie Miller offered his take.
This is why I [love] Sir Charles and @Shaq, strong and opinionated,” Miller tweeted. “Both are right here, Raptors need some damage control with DeRozan and DeMar can’t be sensitive about the benching, you got your lunch handed to you, work hard and come back better!”
Casey was named Coach of the Year by his peers on Tuesday.
“To be honored by your peers is incredibly gratifying, and I am so thankful to my colleagues across the league for this recognition,” Casey said in a news release.
“I’m also grateful to the talented and dedicated coaching staff I work with every day in Toronto. To be recognized with an award that bears Michael H. Goldberg’s name is very special.”
The Raptors were 59-23 this season, good for the best record in the Eastern Conference. Cleveland knocked Casey’s squad out of the playoffs in a four-game sweep.