In a recent appearance on the “Marchand and Ourand” podcast, Shaquille O’Neal refuted Charles Barkley’s longtime claim that Barkley’s current contract with TNT’s Inside The NBA will be his last. When John Ourand inquired about the legitimacy of that stance, O’Neal was adamant in his skepticism.
“He’s never gonna quit,” O’Neal said. “Charles is gonna be here forever. We need him, and he needs us. I’m convinced that if I’m retired and I don’t do nothing, I will falter away. This is what we do and what we live for. It’s what we’ve been doing, and we need each other.
“We keep each other going. Look, I’ve been here 11 years. I’ve heard that spiel before, but he’s gonna be here till the wheels fall off.”
In June, Barkley, 58, said he’s “trying to hang on for another couple years” and intends to retire from the show at that point.
“Then, they can kiss my ass,” said Barkley, who’s been a member of Inside The NBA for 20 years. “I’m only working until I’m 60.”
At the very least, it is nice to get the occasional reminder of how much everyone at Inside likes working with one another, because when they argue with each other — like when they were discussing whether Shaq was better than Wilt Chamberlain or whether or not James Harden is the best 1-on-1 player of all-time — things get heated. Then again, they are willing to turn to one another for support when their hamstrings tighten up, which is a tried and true sign of friendship.