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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Shaq Took a Ton of Money Off Charles Barkley

  • O'Neal correctly predicted the exact margin of the Miami Heat's upset win on Wednesday night.
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Among his many nicknames over the years, Shaquille O’Neal has never been called the Big Prophet. 

Now he can add that title to his collection, which includes The Big Aristotle, Wolf of Ball Street, and Shaq Fu, among others. 

O’Neal, the Hall of Fame center who now serves as an analyst on TNT’s Inside the NBA, called his shot Wednesday before Game 2 of the Celtics-Heat series, predicting the Heat would win by 10 during the show’s pregame hit. O’Neal played for both Boston and Miami, and he helped the Heat win the 2006 NBA Finals.  

“Bet me,” replied Charles Barkley, O’Neal’s fellow analyst on the show. Barkley has an extensive history of compulsive gambling and serves as a spokesperson for FanDuel. At halftime, O’Neal doubled the bet with Miami trailing 61–58.

Ultimately the Heat won 111–101 to even the series, bringing O’Neal’s prediction into reality. O’Neal celebrated his victory on the postgame show by answering a “phone” of $100 bill stacks, which Kenny Smith, the show’s third analyst, declared fake. O’Neal pretended to talk to Heat president Pat Riley, owner Micky Arison, and former teammate Alonzo Mourning, who now works for the organization. It is unknown how much O’Neal won off Barkley, but given the wealth of both men, it likely wouldn’t be cheap.

It was another moment in a show defined by its chemistry and lightheartedness that refuses to take itself too seriously. As the segment closed to go to commercial, O’Neal took a final victory lap over Barkley. 

“You’re a man of your word, Chuck,” O’Neal said. 

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