Charles Barkley’s Repeated Provocations Finally Trigger Stephen A. Smith’s Wrath

Published 12/08/2023, 12:38 AM EST

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Charles Barkley spent the entire ESPN-TNT joint coverage playing Stephen A. Smith like a taut rubber band. And his ESPN counterpart finally snapped. Before they could go back to their respective turfs, Smith had it out with Chuck verbally. Did that end their verbal jousting? Not in the least.

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Smith vowed vengeance. He just doesn’t know how. So he took the high road with a social media post.

Stephen A. Smith is done with Charles Barkley

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Let’s face it, Stephen A. Smith was grossly outnumbered on that desk today. He had to deal with Shaq’s pranks while bantering with Chuck. Of the two enemies, it was Charles Barkley who successfully got under Smith’s skin.

Just before the broadcast could conclude, Smith’s patience reached his limit. Chuck taunted his fashion commentary, saying, “If you mess with any of my boys’ clothes… if you say anything bad about our clothes, there’s gonna be some damn furniture moving around here.”

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Smith lashed out then. “You ain’t scare me. You better watch your mouth. I’m not gonna take this from you tonight.” He’d been enduring this all night. Earlier, Chuck had a kind word for everyone in ESPN except their version of Sir Charles. “If you come over here with all that loud a** talking. This ain’t First Take. This gone be the first a** whooping you take,” Barkley warned the First Take host.

But it was the subject of Smith’s disastrous first pitch at the Yankees game in September that left him tongue-tied. Not only Barkley taunted him for it, but Shaquille O’Neal crowned it No.1 on this week’s ‘Shaqtin the Fool‘.

WATCH THIS STORY | Shaquille O’Neal Threatens Stephen A. Smith After New Studio Debut: “Im a Have to Call TEX JOHNSON”

Smith threatened to get back at them someday somehow. But not immediately. In fact, he sang a different tune once he was out of Barkley’s vicinity.

Stephen A. Smith loves Chuck and Shaq

As much as they ripped into him for three lifetimes, Stephen A., Chuck, and Shaq are the buddy trio we all love watching. For all the talk about getting back at them, Smith tweeted a warm, “That was fun” with a picture of their extended panel tonight.

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He did acknowledge that the TNT guys won tonight. A GIF of the classic, “I ain’t gonna lie, I’m getting cooked,” meme summed up his experience after the crossover broadcast.

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Though he endured some arduous times against the pranksters, fans enjoyed it. They won’t be averse to another Chuck-Shaq-Stephen A. combination once more.

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Written by:

Caroline John

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One take at a time

I was 7 when I saw 'Space Jam' but didn't know till the third rewatch the lead actor is actually a living basketball legend. It was while studying journalism that my friend would go on about the Warriors from Golden State. Keen on athletes' personas outside their arenas, it was Stephen Curry's confidence and philanthropy that drew me to follow the news on NBA pros and explore sports media.
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Edited by:

Pragya Vashisth

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