Caught in 4K: Shaquille O’Neal’s Beard Mishap Leads to Bullying on Live TV

Published 02/08/2024, 8:33 PM EST

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Ah, the NBA on TNT set. Regardless of the day or the scenario, you can always count on the crew to deliver some much-needed brevity. Today was no different, as the awesome foursome found their way into the comedic route thanks to one unfortunate mishap. A beard debacle for Shaquille O’Neal paved the way for some relentless bullying from some co-hosts, as the big man had nowhere to hide.

It was Kenny “The Jet” Smith who first noticed something off about the Los Angeles Lakers legend’s beard. “Your beard was lighter last week, a little grayer. Let’s see the test.” While proclaiming that he did not “have any dye on my beard,” Shaq would go to wipe it off with a napkin.


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Unfortunately for the 4x NBA Champion, the results were negative. Caught red-handed, he would proceed to act surprised, claiming that he had no idea how the color got on his face. But that was ammunition enough for the rest of the crew.

As he would pretend to be shocked by the outcome, the verbal onslaught began. While Kenny was controlling his laughter, Hall of Famer Ernie Johnson would chip in. “No play for Mr. Gray.” Even on an emotionally charged day for the league, the show’s hilarity was a welcome departure from the norm.

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Between the trade deadline and the unveiling of the Kobe Bryant statue, it’s been a long one.

Shaquille O’Neal brings the Kobe news into perspective


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Despite the hubbub of the NBA trade deadline, the focus of the NBA quickly went to the City of Angels. With the Bryant statue being unveiled, it was an emotionally charged night. After a beautiful narration, O’Neal would take the time to bring some love to the Bryant family.

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Further, he would talk about the impact the 5x NBA Champion had on his career. Calling the three-peat impossible without him, Diesel would say what was essentially on everyone’s mind. “If I had one wish, I wish we would be talking to him right now.”


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With memoirs from ex-coach Phil Jackson, longtime teammate Derek Fisher, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Jeanie Buss, and Vanessa Bryant, it was an evening to tug at the heartstrings. In such a dire environment, the TNT crew was the only one to bring a smile to everyone’s faces.


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My earliest memories of a connection to basketball was through its popularity in my school. Eventually, that gave way to a genuine passion for the sport and the rest, is history. Whether it be gameplay, the tactics, the narratives, or the sheer art on display, the game speaks to me in a way few other things can.
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Edited by:

Pragya Vashisth