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Charles Barkley victimized by Shaq’s ‘posterization,’ snake on ‘Inside the NBA’

Hijinks abounded during Wednesday night’s coverage of the NBA playoffs on TNT’s “Inside the NBA,” and Charles Barkley was hilariously targeted a few times by his fellow panelists.

The analysis and coverage of the Phoenix Suns’ dominant 123-98 Game 2 win over the Denver Nuggets in the teams’ Western Conference semifinals showdown was top-notch as usual. However, it’s the sideshow antics involving Sir Charles, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson that gets NBA fans to tune in each and every telecast.

Viewers were treated to as much during two fantastic segments Wednesday night that showcased why “Inside the NBA” is widely regarded as the best sports studio show in television history. One such instance is when a discussion that touched upon Shaq’s historic struggles shooting free throws — specifically his woeful performance in Game 2 of the 2000 NBA Finals when he went 18-of-39 — and segued into a bit during which EJ brought out a mini-hoop so O’Neal could prove his mettle from the charity stripe.

Things of course devolved into chaos, as Shaq chased down Barkley with the mini hoop and proceeded to “posterize” his NBA on TNT colleague.

Earlier in the evening, things got really wild on the “Inside the NBA” set. The crew sadistically played upon Barkley’s fear of snakes. In the past, rubber snakes were employed to terrorize Sir Charles. On Wednesday night, the prank went next-level after Barkley whacked his “Guarantee” button to predict the Nuggets would beat the Suns. That’s when the set turned into a literal circus, a scene highlighted by a woman with a python draped around her neck.

Suffice to say, Barkley was not having it.

Classic stuff. That said, poor Barkley.

In any event, Wednesday’s edition of “Inside the NBA” highlighted exactly why the show is always can’t-miss television for NBA fans.