Shaquille O’Neal hilariously fires back at Kendrick Perkins for saying he doesn’t watch basketball

Mike Battaglino
4 Min Read
Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

The 2024 NBA Playoffs are about to begin, but there may be an entertaining beef brewing off the court as well with former Los Angeles Lakers great Shaquille O’Neal humorously firing back at fellow NBA analyst Kendrick Perkins.

The ESPN analyst was particularly critical of observations about the New York Knicks made by O’Neal and others on their popular TNT show.

“It’s obviously (that) they don’t watch basketball,” Perkins said of O’Neal and Charles Barkley on Monday. “I’m serious, they can’t watch basketball on a consistent basis. The only time they actually probably watch the Knicks is when they’re covering the Knicks on their game nights.”

That drew a response from O’Neal on social media using video of Perkins making blooper-reel plays on the court during his time with the Oklahoma City Thunder.


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“Damn Kendrick, you got me,” O’Neal said. “Why you telling all my secrets? You’re right. I don’t watch a lot of games. … Stop telling people my secrets, bro. I don’t need to watch. I’m him.”

Perkins has been vocal in his support of the Knicks as possible NBA Finals contenders on both ESPN and during his recent appearance on the New York-based radio program. O’Neal for his part did not deny he doesn’t watch games all that much but chose another route to defend himself.

The Hall of Fame big man is probably more interested in the Western Conference in general and the Lakers in particular as his former team looks to make another long playoff run.

The Lakers established themselves as the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference by defeating the New Orleans Pelicans in a play-in game on Tuesday. It sets up a series rematch with the No. 2 seed Denver Nuggets, who swept Los Angeles in the 2023 Western Conference Finals on their way to winning the NBA championship last season.

During this regular season, Perkins was not high at the Lakers at all and last month called the team “dysfunctional” while saying the Golden State Warriors were more likely to make a long playoff run. That idea ended abruptly on Tuesday when the Warriors lost their play-in game to the Sacramento Kings.

Meanwhile, the Lakers are storming into the playoffs having won 12 of their past 15 games.

The Knicks earned the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference with their first 50-win regular season since the 2012-13 campaign. New York will face the winner of the play-in game between the Miami Heat and Philadelphia 76ers in the first round. It will try to advance as far as the conference finals for the first time since 2000 and back up Perkins’ words in the process.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. He remembers the birth of "Showtime" and has always admired the star power the Lakers have brought to the game.