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Charles Barkley is a master roaster alongside TNT teammate Shaquille O’Neal on the wildly popular “Inside the NBA.” Even for fans without much of a care for the player-driven, oft-annoying NBA, tuning in to watch Chuck, Shaq, EJ and Kenny “The Jet” is solid late-night TV.
Speaking with the NBA’s newly named Rookie of the Year award — Orlando Magic’s Paolo Banchero — on Tuesday, Barkley couldn’t help but throw a playful jab at Shaq, the former Magic big man.
Banchero joined Shaq and Mike Miller as the only Magic rookies to win the award.
“Congratulations on a fantastic rookie season,” said Barkley. “I mean, other than Dwight Howard, you’re another great Orlando big man. Not many great big men in Orlando. You’re second already behind Dwight.”
Barkley reveled as he ignored an essential part of Shaq’s legacy.
The Magic drafted Shaq in 1992 and kickstarted one of the NBA’s most dominant careers by a big man. In his third season with Orlando, Shaq led the league in scoring and led the franchise to their first playoff series win. Shaq and the Magic made it to the NBA Finals in ’95 but were swept by Hakeem Olajuwon’s Houston Rockets.
Also, it’s refreshing that Dwight Howard got some love in the segment. Truly an all-time Magic player.
Perhaps we’re asking too much out of Chuck. Then again, he’s built a TV Hall of Fame career based on making fun of Shaq. And vice versa.
Charles Barkley will always be box-office TV.
Follow Alejandro Avila on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela
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