You don’t really go to Inside the NBA for hardcore basketball analysis. That’s been pushed further and further to the sidelines over the years to make room for its oversize personalities to simply entertain us. To be certain, they throw out basketball opinions left and right, although it can oftentimes feel like that’s more designed to illicit a reaction than anything.
Heck, you don’t even expect them to be particularly knowledgeable about today’s players. I mean, one of their longest-running gags is literally called “Who He Play For?” a game in which Charles Barkley hilarious and incorrectly makes wild stabs in the dark about where a particular player happens to be suiting up this season.
So it’s no surprise they’ve tweaked that idea a little to showcase Shaq’s similar lack of knowledge about players’ first names with a segment called “Shaq’s First Name Game,” a nod to his recent inability to come up with Pascal Siakam’s first name.
“Do I get a lifeline?” 😭
“Shaq’s First Name Game” went as expected. pic.twitter.com/qMygFgNHax
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) February 26, 2021
As you may have guessed, Shaq didn’t fare too well here, but the results were hilarious. “Eli” Monk got us off on the right foot, and it only got better from there. Shaq’s ownership stake with the Sacramento Kings couldn’t help him figure out Richaun Holmes’ name, though we suppose “John” was close enough?
He didn’t do much better with Immanuel Quickley (“Gerard”), but “Stuart” Robinson (Mitchell) was the icing on the cake before correctly coming up with Desmond Bane’s name to cap off a 1-for-5 performance. Granted, there are 450 some odd players in the NBA, so it’s impossible to keep track of everyone, but most of these are relatively well-known, especially if you are in the business of covering the league.
Still, we wouldn’t have it any other way. The results are comedic gold.