Shaquille O’Neal says he and Charles Barkley’s mothers had to get involved when the two basketball players who got into an on-court altercation during an NBA game in 1999.
Sometimes, mothers truly always know best. During an interview with Jimmy Fallon this week, O’Neal recalled a time when his mother and Barkley’s mother had to fix a feud between the two. The incident happened during a Lakers vs. Rockets game.
“Me and Charles had a fight, so he hits me in the head with the ball,” said Shaq. “And I’m like, ‘Charles I respect you, but now I gotta knock you out.’ So I lunge with the left, I wanted him to come on the inside, but he went on the outside, grabbed me, pulled me to the ground.”
After the game, O’Neal said he received an unexpected call from his mother and Barkley’s. “So on two-way was my mom and Charles Barkley’s mom,” O’Neal explained. “And I was like, ‘Hello?’ and she’s like, ‘This is Charles’ mom, and your mom’s on the phone too.’ I was like, ‘Yes ma’am, how are you?’ She said, ‘Y’all need to stop. I already talked to Charles. He’s gonna meet you in the hallway. Y’all need to stop and hug. Y’all are two of the greatest players in the world, we don’t want y’all fighting in front of the kids, y’all stop that.'”
Following the conversation, O’Neal said he immediately went to Barkley and resolved the issue. “So I got into the hallway, me and Charles, we hug it out.” He continued: “When you play sports, it’s like a spur-of-the-moment thing. It’s never personal,” the famous athlete explained to Fallon. “Not that I hate him, but when you throw a ball at me, I got to knock you out, boy boy. You already know what I’m going to do to you, boy.”
Today, the men have squashed their beef and work alongside one another on Turner Network Sports’ post-game show, “Inside the NBA,” with Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson.