Shaquille O'Neal Tells Charles Barkley He Will Knock His Face Off Over Grandma Joke

Few crews in sports broadcasting manage to be as simultaneously entertaining and insightful as the NBA on TNT quartet.

For years, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal, Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith have managed to combine detailed basketball analysis with the kind of jovial atmosphere that makes viewers feel as if they were watching the game in a bar with their friends.

At times, however, sarcasm and jokes can go too far, as Barkley found out for himself on Tuesday night, when O'Neal threatened to "knock your face off" following a throwaway comment.

The former Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers star was analyzing the upcoming matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards in the NBA play-in tournament, when he broke down Robin Lopez's hook shot technique.

"You know who he reminds me of?" O'Neal rhetorically asked his TNT colleagues about the Wizards' center.

Before anyone had time to reply, Barkley chimed in. "Who, your grandma?"

"I will reach across this table..." 👀😂

Gonna be some furniture moving if Chuck talks to Shaq like that again.

— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 19, 2021

The remark immediately changed the atmosphere in the studio, with O'Neal stopping Barkley in his tracks. The first overall pick of the 1992 NBA Draft initially laughed at the remark, but immediately made clear he did not appreciate the joke and rebuked Barkley.

"There's two mamas you don't play with," the four-time NBA champion said, looking squarely at his fellow analyst and even taking his glasses off to show he meant business.

"My momma and my grandma. I will reach across the table and knock your face off."

While Barkley and O'Neal both chuckled away amicably during the exchange, Smith swiftly looked to defuse a potentially tense situation by interjecting in the conversation.

Barkley seemed to realize he had crossed a line and quickly apologized to O'Neal, while Smith and Johnson laughed off the incident as just another awkward exchange.

O'Neal had already been the target of his fellow TNT colleagues earlier in the show, when he was jokingly mocked for showing up late and arriving into the studio when the broadcast had already started.

Shaq admitted he had "read his schedule wrong" and thought the show would begin at 6:30 p.m. ET, which instead was the tip-off time for Indiana Pacers vs. Charlotte Hornets.

“You can’t sneak in at 7’2”.” 🤣

The crew had to roast @SHAQ for showing up late.

— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) May 18, 2021

"There he is, sneaking in," Johnson said as O'Neal took his seat.

"You can't sneak in at 7 foot 2 inches," the three-time NBA Finals MVP replied. "I apologize. I read my schedule wrong, I'm sorry. I thought it said 6:30 p.m. I apologize to you all."

Shaquille O'Neal and Charles Barkley
(L-R) Shaquille O'Neal, Ernie Johnson Jr., Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley speak onstage at the 2018 NBA Awards at Barkar Hangar on June 25, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images