Sportress of Blogitude

Shaquille O’Neal again threatens to punch Charles Barkley

Things got a little tense — albeit with a subtle dose of playful humor — Tuesday night on the set of “Inside the NBA,” as Shaquille O’Neal again threatened Charles Barkley with physical violence.

During a segment in which the analysts — Shaq, Sir Charles and Kenny Smith — were expected to have a crack at participating in an “On the Clock” segment, O’Neal took issue with how Barkley cut into his time. Amid some banter, O’Neal indicated he was prepared to knock Barkley out.

“It’s supposed to be one, two, three not one, two, back to one,” O’Neal said, something that caused Ernie Johnson to lose it, which was perhaps the best part of the bit.

Interestingly, Shaq’s tough talk to Barkley comes only a few weeks after Sir Charles threatened to slap Smith over a dispute about his top-5 NBA players list.

As far as Tuesday’s exchange is concerned, if that kind of hostile interplay sounds familiar — which it should, as Shaq and Chuck frequently feud and have made beefing on air into something of an art form — it’s because O’Neal threatened to punch Barkley in the face a few years back.

In the end, the two presumably will remain pals and “Inside the NBA” will remain the unquestioned best studio show in sports television. Although if O’Neal and Barkley were ever to literally come to fisticuffs, it would make for one must-see pay-per-view event.