Shaquille O’Neal: “I Always Told Myself I Don’t Want to Have the Charles Barkley Over the Belt Belly. So I Just Try to Eat Right and Stay Slim”

Published 12/21/2021, 7:00 AM EST
WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, WV – JULY 02: Shaquille O’Neal (L) and Charles Barkley attend The Greenbrier for the gala opening of the Casino Club on July 2, 2010 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. (Photo by Theo Wargo/WireImage for The Greenbrier)


One of the most famous sports personalities in the world, Shaquille O’Neal, speaks his mind freely. O’Neal began a successful career on television after ending his playing career. The Los Angeles Lakers legend had remained quite outspoken as a player too. Recently, he took shots at one of his former rivals in the NBA.

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Shaquille O’Neal engaged in healthy, one-sided banter about another NBA legend Charles Barkley. O’Neal and Barkley are colleagues on the ESPN show, ‘Inside the NBA’. He teased Barkley about gaining weight during the Christmas period in an interview with ‘TMZ Live’ where he also talked about his 20th annual Shaq-A-Claus event.

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 13: (L-R) Shaquille O’Neal, Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley appear on stage during the Turner Upfront 2015 at Madison Square Garden on May 13, 2015 in New York City. 25201_002_TW_0792.JPG (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Turner)

In what is sure to be a zinger,  O’Neal roasted Barkley for his belly over the festive season. O’Neal told TMZ, “I always said to myself, I don’t want to have the C.B.O.T.B.B. — that’s the Charles Barkley Over The Belt Belly. I never wanna have that, so I just try to eat right and try to stay slim.

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Charles Barkley played in the NBA between 1984 to 2000. He spent most of his NBA career at the Philadelphia 76ers. He ended his career in 2000 with the Houston Rockets. The NBA named him the NBA’s ‘Most Valuable Player’ in 1993.

Shaquille O’Neal won four NBA titles while Barkley failed to win an NBA title during his career.

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Shaquille O’Neal and his diet during his NBA career

While Shaquille O’Neal teased Charles Barkley for his festive period belly, O’Neal himself takes care of his diet all year round. In a recent interview, O’Neal revealed his diet during the heyday of his playing days. His diet prior to games had two club sandwiches, fries, and a pineapple soda.

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By his own admission, O’Neal weighed around 395 pounds while winning his third title to complete the three-peat with the Los Angeles Lakers. His fourth and last NBA title came in 2006 with the Miami Heat when O’Neal weighed 325 pounds. O’Neal’s weight, as evidenced by his numerous NBA honors, failed to hinder him from enjoying a successful career.

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Shalom Saldanha

252 articles

Shalom Saldanha is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his journalism degree, he has previously worked as a sports corresspondent for India Shorts/Business Upturn. A Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bucks fan, Shalom primarily got into the sport after discovering that he shared a mutual love for Arsenal with the 'Greek Freak'.

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