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Shaq, Charles Barkley bicker over who was the worse defender


At this point, a Charles Barkley-Shaquille O’Neal argument is expected on TNT’s “Inside the NBA.”

The two Hall of Famers took things to another level on Sunday when they debated who the better defender was during their playing days.

“First of all, you don’t know nothing about no defense,” O’Neal said at one point while discussing the Bucks-Hawks Eastern Conference Finals series.

Barkley clapped back, “You were an awful defensive player on the pick-and-roll.”

O’Neal wasn’t backing down.

“I don’t need to play defense,” the Lakers legend and four-time champion said. “I don’t know why anybody would even listen to you about defense.”

Barkley continued to argue that he “was a better defender” than O’Neal, while throwing shade at Bucks big man Brook Lopez.

“You were the worst big man defender in the history of basketball, other than Brook Lopez in Game 1,” Barkley said, referencing Lopez’s difficulty handling Milwaukee’s go-to “drop” defensive coverage in series opener, which resulted in a 113-102 Bucks win.

O’Neal and Barkley got into it during a discussion about Milwaukee’s defensive strategy throughout the conference finals series.

Barkley praised the Bucks for a Game 2 change-up from their pick-and-roll coverage they implemented in Game 1, which resulted in a 116-113 loss and Hawks point guard Trae Young going off for 48 points.

Shaquille O'Neal #34 of the Los Angeles Lakers battles for position with Charles Barkley #4 of the Houston Rockets
Neither Shaq nor Charles Barkley were known for their defense during their playing days.
Getty Images

The Bucks took Game 2 in a blowout 125-91 win.

O’Neal didn’t agree with Barkley’s analysis, and thought the Bucks failed to execute a different defensive plan.

Instead, he credited Milwaukee’s Game 2 win to Atlanta’s turnovers — nine of which came from Young — and lack of shooting. Young scored just 15 points on 6-for-16 shooting in Game 2.


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