In Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley’s defense, they attempted to avoid mocking Anthony Davis but they did fail. None of them mentioned anything on the air but all the reports suggest they couldn’t believe when TNT Sports announced Davis had to get to the locker room on a wheelchair. In the replay of the injury, we can clearly see Davis getting an elbow on the right side of his head. That’s a dangerous spot where any human can get hit but at this point, both Shaq and Chuck have mocked Davis for past injuries so much that they don’t believe him anymore. They likely don’t think the shot to the head was that hard and they also tend to gloat about their era’s toughness inside the game.
When the after show started on TNT, it was Kenny Smith the one who caught both Shaq and Chuck resisting to laugh out loud. Both Kenny and the host wanted to know what was funny but they wouldn’t say it. In fact, Barkley asked to move along to the next segment because he wanted to avoid mocking the Lakers‘ star any longer. Everybody in studio seemed to know what the joke was about and we eventually found out it was the Anthony Davis wheelchair story. If that’s in fact what they were mocking, both Shaq and Chuck need to consider a couple of things about head trauma.
Anthony Davis was likely dizzy from the injury
Hitting your head has a different effect on the body, depending on the area you were struck. You can hit the top of your head and probably take less damage than the back of your head or your temple. Even if Anthony Davis’ hit seemed not as hard, a hit right in the temple can be far more damaging than somewhere else. Given that AD is also massively tall, he most likely lost balance while he recovered from the elbow he got straight to the temple. But still, Shaq and Barkley probably lughed at what they looked as an absurdity of getting injured once again. Hopefully none of them have to apologize later for being insensitive towards Davis’ injury.Still, the banter was raging on Twitter after that report.