Shaquille O’Neal Pulls Out His Best Moves to Intimidate PowerSlap Opponent, Charles Barkley

Published 12/07/2023, 11:23 PM EST

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The intimidation tactics are getting fiercer in the In-Season Tournament. Not on the court, though, but over at the TNT booth. As much as Charles Barkley would like to pretend it’s a joke, it’s very serious for his opponent. Shaquille O’Neal is pulling all the mind games to torment Chuck before the PowerSlap showdown of the century. There’s actual evidence of it working.

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Earlier this week, another event was scheduled between the In-Season Tournament. Shaq and Chuck demanded the PowerSlap event, and Dana White has apparently confirmed. Since then, O’Neal has been prepping. They wagered on the Lakers-Suns game. What started with a $15-$30 million wager turned to betting for the first slap advantage. The Lakers were in the semifinals today, as Chuck lost that previous bet. Now he has to suffer at the hands of Shaquille O’Neal.

Fans caught the action at the TNT booth live outside Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena. They chanted “PowerSlap” as the 7’1″ giant ominously approached Barkley. The highlight was a terrified Barkley trying to retreat.

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He couldn’t escape too far. Shaq snatched him and did a fairly cringeworthy but hilarious dance against his frenemy. That is sure to traumatize Chuck more than Shaq’s chokehold did.

Before he lost the all-important advantage, Barkley gloated he’d make Shaq “drop like a sack of potatoes” with one swing. All that bravado has dropped harder than a sack of potatoes in the face of the scariest giant.

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

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Shaquille O’Neal’s Intimidation 101

How did Shaquille O’Neal become the most dominant center in the NBA? Clearly that imposing persona had a part to play in it. Charles Barkley is one of many NBA pros who have witnessed prime Shaq’s terror. He’s pulling out a trendier version of that terror for the potential PowerSlap matchup.

As soon as the Suns made Chuck lose the wager, Shaq was on Instagram declaring he wasn’t afraid of him. He relied on the classic TikTok method of claiming, I’ll snatch your forehead the f*** off.” He once again disturbed Chuck by miming said forehead-snatching. Despite the slap-tastic fierceness, Shaq and Chuck were a united front when it came to teasing Stephen A. Smith tonight.

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Whether Dana White was kidding or he’s really going to organize a post-NBA season PowerSlap showdown, it’s unclear. At least the Big Aristotle is taking it very seriously.

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Written by:

Caroline John

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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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