With the NCAA Tournament going on, the Turner basketball crew is stretched a bit thin, so TNT’s Monday night NBA games have been Players Only broadcasts, with former players doing play-by-play and analysis. For Monday night’s Knicks-Clippers broadcast, TNT put Brent Barry, Derek Fisher and Shaq together and Barry, Fisher and the crew pulled a prank on Mr. O’Neal.
They had Shaq read a promo for the upcoming “Noches Ene-Be-A” games that the will celebrate hispanic heritage with special shooting shirts and in-game festivities. It was a standard promo read, but they tacked on a little something extra at the end for Shaq to endorse.
O’Neal, always willing to lend his voice to an endorsement, did his best to read the line they gave him in Spanish. Barry kept the joke going by asking him “what is it you always say,” and had Shaq repeat it, before O’Neal admitted he had no idea what that sentence said. Barry then informed him that he was saying “practice your free throws.”
Shaq, a notoriously terrible free throw shooter for his entire career, laughed off the bit. It’s a pretty funny joke pulled off by Barry and the TNT guys, especially since O’Neal likes to consider himself a prankster. Also, we learned that O’Neal is pretty much Ron Burgundy and will read whatever you put on a prompter or card in front of him on live television.