The Loop

The Chuckster Strikes Again

This Charles Barkley dagger of Zion Williamson was so funny it made Shaq cry

November 03, 2021

So far this (young) NBA season, we have yet to see Pelicans big boy/former Duke phenom Zion Williamson take the court. Williamson has been recovering from offseason foot surgery—a process that might take two to three more weeks, according to head coach Willie Green—and his presence has been sorely missed, as the Pelicans have slumped to a dismal 1-7, good for the dead last in the Western Conference.

Offering the faintest glimmer of hope, Williamson took the court on Tuesday night for some light warm ups, but Charles Barkley quickly snuffed out the flame with this ruthless (and hilarious) dagger live on basic cable. Take it away, Chuck.

For those of you watching without the benefit of audio, Barkley’s reaction to Williamson’s new physique was a simple one:

“It look like me and Shaq had a baby,” he said.

The comment took Shaq so off guard that he immediately stood up from the desk, saying “I quit” through tears of laughter. It took nearly a minute for Shaq to regain his composure and by that time Barkley had gotten serious.

Barkley has been very transparent about his own weight struggles as a young player in the NBA. He reported to rookie camp at around 300 pounds and it took some tough love from Moses Malone to set him on the path to NBA fitness. After his cheap shot on Tuesday, Barkley offered up some similar advice to Williamson, whose weight has been a concern for teams since draft night.

“I am concerned, I am really concerned,” Barkley said, Shaq still crumpling up his notes in a fit of laughter. “He gonna have to learn that even when you’re hurt, you’re going to have to control your eating … When guys get hurt, Adam, and they come back, you’re trying to get in shape, and if you’re putting all that stress on your knees and your feet, you’re just going to keep getting hurt … Somebody’s got to be a grown person down in that relationship and say ‘yo man, you’ve got to get in shape.’”

Whether or not Williamson heeds that advice or not remains to be seen, but if getting picked on by Charles Barkley on primetime television isn’t enough motivation, we don’t know what is.