"Inside the NBA" is universally beloved, and arguably the only postgame show in sports that matters. The chemistry between Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O'Neal is perfectly calibrated, and though the program is guilty of making the occasional uninformed or delusional take, their opinions and observations do emit from a sincere place. Moreover, the cast is not afraid to tangle, and not just in a "Hey, the producers said we need to take different sides for captivating television" fashion.
In that same vein, sometimes things go off the rails, for better or worse. We're chalking this video up towards the former.
On Tuesday night, the crew tackled the Toronto Raptors and DeMar DeRozan, the All-NBA talent who was such a disaster in the playoffs that media and fans are questioning his future with the team. According to Barkley, the onus on fixing the relationship resides with coach Dwayne Casey. Shaq...well, Shaq did not agree. At least, we think that was the gist. It's hard to decipher exactly what's happening, as both men began yelling at and over the top of each other for 90 seconds:
Dammit, this is what happens when Ernie takes a night off.
We're hesitant to declare a "winner" in this bout. Anytime Shaq is countered on anything, he falls back on his "I got three Finals MVP!" card, which, while overused, is a pretty damn good card to play. Barkley doesn't exactly make a strong case, mostly because he never got a chance too. (Although the Kobe burn did seem to cut deep.)
Whatever side you take, we can all agree on this: the duo put up a bigger fight than the Raptors mustered against the Cavs.