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Lakers vs Rockets: When Shaquille O’Neal Decided to Wrestle and Brawl Charles Barkley

Lakers vs Rockets: When Shaquille O’Neal Decided to Wrestle and Brawl Charles Barkley

Shaquille O'Neal 1999 brawl

Since 2012, Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley have been coworkers on Turner Sports’ Inside The NBA, and they’ve had some on-set disagreements. However, these fight sare nothing compared to the famous 1999 fight between Shaq and Barkley. This was when Barkley’s Houston Rockets faced Shaq’s Los Angeles Lakers in a November 10, 1999 game.

Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley: What Exactly Happened

Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley were each suspended without pay for one game by the National Basketball Association for the fight.

The N.B.A. also fined O’Neal $10,000 for throwing a punch at Barkley. They fined Barkley $5,000 for throwing a ball at O’Neal. Both were ejected from the game, O’Neal’s second ejection in five games.

“He wasn’t doing that much. . . . He did one of his Charles Barkley-like stupid things and I just reacted. Any time a person gets hit in the face with the ball, nine of 10 times he’ll probably just react.”, Shaq said.

The Lakers led, 30-26, at the time, and both Barkley and O’Neal, who had no previous violent history with each other, led with their bodies thereafter.

O’Neal bumped Barkley on the head, Barkley swung his elbows to answer, O’Neal pushed him back, and then Barkley fired the basketball into O’Neal’s face.

Then it was fight time, on national television, with two of the league’s biggest names and biggest bodies getting ready to rumble.


What the Fighters Had to Say

“He was doing all that wild monkey [stuff], throwing [elbows], acting crazy,” said O’Neal, who suffered his second ejection in less than a week after receiving two technicals Saturday night in Portland.

“I think that was a tactic to get me out of the game, and it worked. I’ll probably have to be a little smarter next time, just wait to get him back later.”

O’Neal fired a lead left, which was countered by an impressive Barkley lift-and-flip move. This sent O’Neal onto his back and allowing Barkley to land a few shots while they were on the floor.

“Can’t let nobody hit me,” Barkley said as he left the arena before the game was over.

O’Neal said he only toppled over because other players got involved.

“He was very lucky those guys grabbed me,” O’Neal said. “Very lucky. . . . I could’ve gotten all of my frustrations out. He’s a very lucky man.”

“This is not normal behaviour for Shaquille,” said guard Derek Fisher, one of four Lakers in double-digit scoring. “So I don’t really feel like we’re any danger of him continuing to do that.

Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley have only continued their brawls with words since.

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