The Loop

Things got a bit awkward during this interview between Shaq and Donovan Mitchell

January 22, 2021

Between shenanigans like Shaq racing Kenny Smith, "the Black Masters," and Charles Barkley not knowing most of today's players, Inside The NBA is one of the biggest yuckfests on TV. But things got a bit serious on TNT following Thursday night's game between the Utah Jazz and the New Orleans Pelicans.

We've seen some testiness on the show before, but it's usually caused by Shaq needling Chuck over having never won an NBA championship or Chuck clearly being upset about losing a (big) bet. This time, though, it involved a postgame interview with Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell.

Mitchell is one of the game's most talented players and he was coming off a spectacular 36-point, 7-rebound, 5-assist performance in a win as the Jazz improved to 11-4. But Barkley and Shaq had maintained that the young star has no impact on the game other than scoring. And then Shaq posed this question:

"I said tonight that you are one of my favorite players, but you don't have what it takes to get to the next level. I said it on purpose, I want you to hear it. What do you have to say about that?" Rough! Here was Mitchell's (short) response:


Hey, kudos to Shaq for being bold enough to challenge Mitchell like that. If anyone can, it's someone who is widely regarded as one of the top-10 players of all time. And kudos to Mitchell for showing some restraint. But man, can't we all just get along? Like normal on this show?!

Oh, and kudos to Chuck for knowing what team Mitchell plays for. At least, we think he knows.