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Shaquille O’Neal’s true feelings on Charles Barkley’s near exit from Inside the NBA for LIV Golf

LIV Golf, Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Barkley, NBA, Inside the NBA

Shaquille O’Neal would have had no problem with Charles Barkley leaving “Inside the NBA” for LIV Golf, but that’s not because he hates him or what. In the contrary, since they are really good friends, Shaq wants the best for Chuck.

Barkley was linked with a potential gig with LIV Golf this offseason, which would have forced him to leave Turner Sports and his “Inside the NBA” show with Shaq, Ernie Johnson and Kenny Smith due to his exclusive contract with the network.

As most fans know by now, the deal with LIV Golf didn’t work out and Barkley has decided to stay with his current crew. However, had it push through, O’Neal admitted he wouldn’t talk his good friend out of the deal. Why would he? It’s an opportunity of a lifetime for Sir Chuck, after all.

“Charles is a dear friend. I would’ve supported him every which way. Charles is one of those legends, like Bill Russell, that didn’t make a lot of money playing. So if a chance comes up like this at this age that’s legal – controversial but legal – you gotta look at it,” Shaquille O’Neal told USA Today.

“If he had accepted it, I wouldn’t be mad. And if Charles had left? You’d still have me.”

For what it’s worth, a lot of NBA fans are ecstatic with Charles Barkley’s decision to stay. “Inside the NBA” is one of, if not the best and most entertaining sports show out there, and the Round Mound of Rebound is a big reason for that. He’s just great TV with Shaq and the rest of the cast.

Here’s to hoping that Turner Sports will extend the foursome when their contracts are up, though.