Shaqtin' a Fool

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Shaqtin' a Fool
StarringShaquille O'Neal
Ernie Johnson
Charles Barkley
Kenny Smith
Ro Parrish
Dennis Scott
Tony Rock
No. of seasons8 (TNT seasons)
5 (NBA TV seasons)
Production locationsTurner Studio J
Atlanta, Georgia
Running time30 minutes
Original release
NetworkTNT (2011 – present)
NBA TV (2013 – present)

Shaqtin' a Fool is a weekly segment from the television show Inside the NBA, the postgame show of NBA on TNT following the conclusion of National Basketball Association (NBA) games airing on cable TV channel TNT.[1] The title is a play on "actin' a fool." It first aired during the 2011–12 NBA season, when retired NBA All-Star Shaquille O'Neal voiced it upon joining the show and was created by Turner Sports producer Mike Goldfarb.[2] Shaqtin' highlights humorous and uncommon basketball plays that have occurred during NBA games in the past week. O'Neal is the host and presenter, while the other analysts in studio react and provide commentary. Most often, those have been fellow Inside regulars Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley, but other Inside hosts have also participated, including Chris Webber, Grant Hill, Steve Smith, Kevin Garnett and Matt Winer. Since 2018, the Shaqtin franchise has been led by Turner Sports producer Michael Kaplan.

The segment regularly features NBA players and also includes, but is not limited to, coaches, referees,[3] fans, mascots,[4] and other arena employees. Sometimes they also air clips from other international basketball leagues. On special occasions, the segment features plays which had occurred during the past, including several entire "retro" editions.[5] Each episode tends to have four entries (five until 2018) from the past week, with each entry typically involving a single play (although there are some times where a collection of similar bad plays, such as travels and air ball free throws, are highlighted). Multiple plays may include the same player, and a single play may highlight more than one player.

There is a special award given to certain players, called the "Shaqtin Golden Ticket," which is lifetime immunity from being included in the segment. Since its debut in 2015, four players have been awarded with the award. Those include: current New Orleans Pelicans power forward Larry Nance Jr. (2015 winner), current Philadelphia 76ers small and power forward P. J. Tucker (2016 winner, although he was featured on an episode during the 2018–19 season), 2-time Shaqtin’ MVP, 3-time NBA Champion, and current Sacramento Kings center JaVale McGee (after his long feud with O'Neal escalated in early 2017, see more in "Shaq's feud with JaVale McGee" section),[citation needed] and current Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (2018 winner, although he did appear in an episode in the 2022-23 season[6]).

At the conclusion of the NBA postseason, a Shaqtin' a Fool special airs on NBA TV. During the special, O'Neal is joined by Ro Parrish and Dennis Scott, and the top Shaqtin' a Fool plays of the season are shown. On the 2013 special, 34 plays were shown to honor O'Neal's jersey retirement of No. 34 during his tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers. On the 2014 special, only 20 plays were shown. For the 2015 special, the number of plays increased to 30. Since the beginning of the 2013–14 NBA season, fans are able to tweet suggestions for Shaqtin' a Fool.[7]

Shaqtin' a Fool Most Valuable Player[edit]

JaVale McGee is a two-time winner of the Shaqtin' a Fool MVP award.
Kendrick Perkins, the 2014 Shaqtin' a Fool MVP

The Shaqtin' a Fool Most Valuable Player (MVP) is an annual award presented at the Shaqtin' a Fool special during the conclusion of the NBA Playoffs. In the 2011–12 and the 2012–13 season, fans voted online for their favorite play of the year, and whichever player whose play accumulated the most votes for that season was awarded with the Shaqtin' a Fool MVP. In the 2013–14 season, the MVP was decided through the most appearances made by one player in a single season. In the event of a tie, fans vote for a player, and the leading candidate receives the award. For the 2014–15 season, three nominees were named and fans voted online for the winner.

Season Player Position Team Notes
2011–12 JaVale McGee Center Washington Wizards Traded to the Denver Nuggets before the season ended
2012–13 JaVale McGee (2) Center Denver Nuggets McGee is the first of two players to win the award twice.
2013–14 Kendrick Perkins[8] Center Oklahoma City Thunder Initially tied with Nick Young, fans later voted for Perkins to break the tie
2014–15 Otto Porter[9] Small Forward Washington Wizards Won the fan vote against Brandon Knight and Dion Waiters
2015–16 James Harden Shooting Guard Houston Rockets Harden was the first All-Star to win the award.
2016–17 Russell Westbrook Point Guard Oklahoma City Thunder Westbrook is the first player to win NBA MVP and Shaqtin MVP in the same season.
2017–18 Joel Embiid Center Philadelphia 76ers Embiid gained 58% of the fan vote against LeBron James, and it was claimed that this was the closest race to date.
2018–19 Lance Stephenson Shooting Guard Los Angeles Lakers First Shaqtin’ MVP under the new format, where fans vote on Twitter hours before the NBA doubleheader on TNT, then the nightly winner would be announced on Inside the NBA later that night.
2019–20 No MVP named N/A N/A N/A
2020–21 Russell Westbrook (2) Point Guard Washington Wizards
2021–22 Russell Westbrook (3) Point Guard Los Angeles Lakers
2022-23 Andre Drummond Center Chicago Bulls

Special editions[edit]

Other from the season-ending special, occasionally there are other special editions of Shaqtin' a Fool.

All-star edition[edit]

Starting with the conclusion of the 2012 All-Star Game, an "All-Star Weekend" edition of Shaqtin' a Fool airs after NBA All-Star Weekend. It highlights bloopers that had occurred in the All Star Weekend events, such as the Slam Dunk Contest, the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, and the NBA Rising Stars Challenge.

Inside the NBA edition[edit]

The April 17th, 2013 edition of Shaqtin' was devoted to Inside, showing four moments featuring Inside cast members (including two from Charles Barkley), and one from then-Miami Heat power forward/center, Chris Bosh. For example, it included Johnson in a comic dunk contest as "'Elevator' Ernie Johnson".[10]

Shaqtin' a Fool midseason award special[edit]


On February 27, 2014, a midseason special named the "Shaqtin's" (parodying the Academy Awards) aired on NBA TV featuring O'Neal, Scott and Greenberg.[11]

Award Player Position Team Play Description
Worst Layup Kendrick Perkins Center Oklahoma City Thunder An up and under layup/dunk attempt fails to hit the rim.
Worst Pass Enes Kanter Center Utah Jazz A random pass out of bounds against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Worst Shot Enes Kanter Center Utah Jazz Two botched double-clutch jumpers.
Worst Dunk Derrick Williams Forward Sacramento Kings A missed self alley-oop after getting a steal against the Chicago Bulls. Notable for occurring after Williams has Tweeted in response to Corey Brewer's own missed dunk, which occurred earlier in the week.
Worst Moment By An All-Star Tony Parker Guard San Antonio Spurs A technical free throw shot well short of the basket. This shot attempt was aborted by the officials, possibly while Parker was in mid-shot.[12][13][14]
Worst Turnover Marcin Gortat Center Washington Wizards A botched Dream Shake against Tim Duncan.
Worst Moment JaVale McGee Center Denver Nuggets Piggy-backing Steven Adams while running back on defense during a fast break. This would be McGee's only appearance on Shaqtin' a Fool all season, as he was sidelined with a broken left leg.
Lifetime Achievement Award JaVale McGee Center


For 2015, O'Neal, Scott and Greenberg were joined by Funkmaster Flex, who also presented Flexin' A Fool, reserved for players under 6 feet. Ashanti also made an appearance to put her spin on the intro.

Award Player Position Team Play Description
Worst Fast Break Brandon Knight Guard Milwaukee Bucks Blowing an easy breakaway game-winning layup in overtime against the Brooklyn Nets.
Worst Pass Brandon Knight Guard Milwaukee Bucks A badly botched jump pass against the Indiana Pacers.
Worst Shot Brandon Jennings Guard Detroit Pistons Passing up a wide open layup and then missing a fadeaway jumper.
Worst Dunk Corey Brewer Guard/Forward Minnesota Timberwolves An (uncalled) six-step travel on a breakaway dunk.
Worst Play By An All-Star James Harden Guard Houston Rockets Matador defense in transition against the New York Knicks.
Worst Moment Lance Stephenson Guard Charlotte Hornets Slapping himself and flopping after running into a screen.
Lifetime Achievement Award Brandon Knight Guard


On February 17, 2016, Greenberg hosted the 2016 edition with O'Neal and Scott.

Award Player Position Team Play Description
Worst Shot Marcelo Huertas Guard Los Angeles Lakers Shoots a behind the head three-pointer as the shot clock expired after getting his first shot blocked.
Worst Play By An All-Star James Harden Guard Houston Rockets Two plays in the winning nomination: matador defense in transition against the New York Knicks and failure to defensively rebound a missed layup by the Detroit Pistons, which surrendered a tip-in. A wildly errant pass by James Harden against the Utah Jazz was featured in another nomination.
Worst Fast Break Nerlens Noel Forward/center Philadelphia 76ers Mishandling his dribble on a fast break after stealing the ball from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Worst Pass Anderson Varejão Forward/center Cleveland Cavaliers A pass that hits LeBron James in the face while receiving another pass during warm-ups.
Worst Uncalled Travel Dirk Nowitzki Forward Dallas Mavericks Uncalled backward hopping while possessing the ball and posting up against the Houston Rockets.
Worst Moment Bismack Biyombo Center Toronto Raptors Dribbles the ball after stopping his dribble, then lets the ball go loose upon realizing his mistake.
Lifetime Achievement Award Kendrick Perkins Center


On February 22, 2017, Ro Parrish hosted the 2017 edition with O'Neal and Scott. In this edition, all winners except Westbrook made an on-camera "acceptance speech" (in Smith's case, Jason Terry, who was also involved in the play, spoke for him). That led to additional plays featured; another windmill dunk by Ross, this time successful (after his asking for it) and two flops O'Neal made during his career (after "Best Actor" winner Marcus Smart accepted the award but implied that O'Neal flopped some times himself as a player).

Award Player Position Team Play Description
Worst Shot Kemba Walker Guard Charlotte Hornets Prematurely celebrating a 3-pointer against the Miami Heat before the shot missed.
Worst Play By An All-Star Russell Westbrook Guard Oklahoma City Thunder A blatant travel following an inbound against the Golden State Warriors.
Worst Fast Break Terrence Ross Guard/Forward Toronto Raptors A missed breakaway windmill dunk following a steal against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Worst Pass Wesley Johnson Guard/Forward Los Angeles Clippers Two consecutive botched inbounds passes against the San Antonio Spurs resulting in easy dunks.
Best Actor (Worst Flop) Marcus Smart Guard Boston Celtics A trio of flops against the Pistons, Rockets and Pelicans.
Worst Uncalled Travel Bojan Bogdanović Guard/Forward Brooklyn Nets A 10-step travel combined with a double dribble against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Worst Moment J. R. Smith Guard Cleveland Cavaliers Hugging opposing player Jason Terry during play, leading to an easy dunk for Tony Snell of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Lifetime Achievement Award Dwight Howard Center

In addition, O'Neal's mispronouncing of players' names was featured before the Worst Fast Break was presented.


On February 21, 2018, Casey Stern hosted the 2018 edition with O'Neal, Scott and Tony Rock. In this edition, all winners except Stephen Curry and Marcus Smart made an on-camera "acceptance speech" (in Curry's case, Lauri Markkanen, who was also involved in the play, spoke for him). O'Neal spoke on Smart's behalf and also presented a clip of him taking a seven-step travel in a 2010 playoff game.

Award Player Position Team Play Description
Worst Shot Rotnei Clarke Guard Illawarra Hawks
A botched free throw attempt against the Sydney Kings.
Worst Play By An All-Star Stephen Curry Guard Golden State Warriors A layup attempt that was blocked by Lauri Markkanen, which hit his head while falling down the floor.
Worst Fast Break Avery Bradley Guard Detroit Pistons A missed dunk and a blocked shot following a steal against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Worst Pass Lance Stephenson Guard Indiana Pacers A pass to Domantas Sabonis while falling down the floor against the Milwaukee Bucks.
Best Actor Dirk Nowitzki Forward Dallas Mavericks Falling down the other end of the court in transition against the Orlando Magic.
Worst Uncalled Travel Marcus Smart Guard Boston Celtics A 12-step travel while possessing the ball and going for a pass against the Houston Rockets.
Worst Moment Joel Embiid Center Philadelphia 76ers Three missed dunks against the Indiana Pacers.
Lifetime Achievement Award Nick Young Guard


After around 5-year hiatus, Shaqtin' a Fool midseason award was back on February 21, 2023. This edition was hosted by Dennis Scott along with Shaquille O'Neal and Josiah Johnson. This award also presented some of Shaq's viral moments during the 2022-23 season in the final segment.

Award Player Position Team Play Description
Worst Pass Jalen Green Guard Houston Rockets Failed to set an alley-oop to Kenyon Martin Jr. against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Worst Miss Killian Hayes Guard Detroit Pistons A terrible shot that went off the backboard against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Worst Decision Russell Westbrook and Jaden McDaniels Guard and Forward Los Angeles Lakersa and Minnesota Timberwolves Passed the ball to each other during the preseason game.
Worst Flop Patrick Beverley Guard Los Angeles Lakersa Committed a flop after his ball possession was stolen by Terance Mann during the match against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Worst Got' Em Daniel Gafford Forward/center Washington Wizards Got an ankle breaker by Kevin Durant and splitting against the Brooklyn Nets.
Worst Timing D'Angelo Russell Guard Minnesota Timberwolvesb Forgot to check into the game when the Phoenix Suns got a ball possession.
Worst Result Aaron Nesmith Forward Indiana Pacers Got slipped when his teammates watered down on him during the post-match interview.
Worst Turnover Josh Giddey Guard/Forward Oklahoma City Thunder An inbound pass that hit the backboard and then passed the ball to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander out the bounds against the Boston Celtics.
Worst What Are You Doing? Meek Mill Rapper/Spectator Tripped the referee when watching the Philadelphia 76ers against the Phoenix Suns.
  • a: These moments happened when Russell Westbrook and Patrick Beverley played for the Los Angeles Lakers.
  • b: This moment happened when D'Angelo Russell played for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

"Old School" Edition (2014)[edit]

On December 11, 2014, a special edition of Shaqtin' a Fool, titled "Old School", featured plays which occurred during the 1980s, 90s, 2000s, and a special section showing O'Neal's top bloopers during his career as a player.[15] This edition ran on NBA TV, and showed 5 plays for each category, totaling to 20 plays.

Category Players Featured
1980s Larry Bird, Darryl Dawkins, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Danny Ainge, and Karl Malone
1990s Tim Kempton, Dominique Wilkins, Karl Malone, Chris Mills, Samaki Walker[1], and Shawn Marion
2000s Lamar Odom, LeBron James, JaVale McGee, Shaquille O'Neal[2], and Michael Ruffin
Shaquille O'Neal Shaquille O'Neal

^ [1] Walker was included in the same play as Mills

^ [2] Buchert is an NBA referee

NBA Countdown Edition (2023)[edit]

On December 7, 2023, Inside joined forces with ESPN's NBA Countdown studio team of Stephen A. Smith, Michael Wilbon, Malika Andrews, Adrian Wojnarowski and Bob Myers as part of a TNT-ESPN collaboration to broadcast and cover the 2023 (inaugural) NBA In-Season Tournament semifinals at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. This involved both studio teams appearing on the other show and network for pre- and post-game coverage, including Smith and Wilbon appearing on Inside.[16][17] The Shaqtin' edition for the episode was themed around Smith and Wilbon, including Smith bouncing a first pitch at Yankee Stadium as #1.[18]

Shaq's feud with JaVale McGee[edit]

The player who was featured most frequently on the show was JaVale McGee, who "won" MVP honors in the first two seasons and was firstly featured on the second episode of the 2011-2012 season. McGee's growing displeasure over his frequent appearances culminated into a heated argument between him and Shaquille O'Neal on February 24, 2017, with tweets exchanged between the two. During the following show, O'Neal declared that the feud was over and McGee's name would "never come out of his mouth again". During the last show of the 2016-17 regular season, when the best plays of the season were selected, a co-host tried to ask O'Neal if there was a chance that any of McGee's plays already shown at the show before the feud would be featured, but O'Neal immediately dismissed the possibility. Since the feud, McGee's former team, the Golden State Warriors, had requested TNT, the network airing the segment, to cease mentions of McGee.[19]

Javale then explained to Shannon Sharpe on his podcast Club Shay Shay

At the time when it was happening, I wasn't in a position to really speak on it to where it would get any push if I would've spoke on it early on. I didn't realise what it was doing to my career until I started to move onto other teams. It was slowly chipping away at my reputation. Perception changes everything. All I have been doing is trying to build my reputation back up.[20]


  1. ^ Tim Troglen (January 4, 2015). "TNT Show Created for NBA Legend Shaquille O'Neal". Hudson Hub Times. Archived from the original on 12 December 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  2. ^ Tim Troglen (November 19, 2014). "Former Hudsonite helps Shaq show foibles, follies of NBA's best on TNT". Hudson Hub Times. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
  3. ^ Joel C. Cordes. "Shaqtin' a Fool: NY Knicks Need Acting Classes". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  4. ^ Joel C. Cordes. "Shaqtin' a Fool: Swaggy P's Premature Celebration". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  5. ^ Josh Martin. "Happy Birthday, Chuck: Charles Barkley's Most 'Shaqtin a Fool' Moments". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  6. ^ "A Turnover Trifecta Is Just What The Doctor Ordered" | Shaqtin' A Fool | NBA on TNT, retrieved 2023-01-23
  7. ^ Joel C. Cordes. "Shaqtin' a Fool: Kendrick Perkins and JaVale McGee Terrorize on the Fast Break". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  8. ^ "Kendrick Perkins wins the 2013/14 Shaqtin' a Fool MVP Award". Retrieved 15 December 2014.
  9. ^ Bieler, Des (June 10, 2015). "Otto Porter is your 2015 'Shaqtin a Fool' MVP". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  10. ^ "Shaqtin a Fool: Worst of Inside the NBA". National Basketball Association. April 17, 2013. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  11. ^ james harden not mvp[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ Dollinger, Matt (January 30, 2014). "Video: Spurs' Tony Parker shoots possibly the worst free throw in NBA history". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  13. ^ Highkin, Sean (January 29, 2014). "Watch Tony Parker shoot the most hilarious free throw of the year". USA Today. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  14. ^ Rosenthal, Seth (January 29, 2014). "Tony Parker shoots a free throw 5 feet". SB Nation. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
  15. ^ Shaqtin' a Fool: Old School, December 11, 2014 YouTube (originally aired on TNT)
  16. ^ "TNT Sports to Showcase Inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament Knockout Rounds with Three Nights of Coverage Next Week Across TNT, truTV & Max". Warner Bros. Discovery (Press release). November 28, 2023. Retrieved November 28, 2023.
  17. ^ "ESPN, TNT Collaborate on Game and Studio Coverage for Inaugural NBA In-Season Tournament Semifinals December 7". ESPN Press Room (Press release). November 28, 2023. Retrieved November 28, 2023.
  18. ^ Inside the NBA (8 December 2023). "Your Shaqtin' Winner this Week: Stephen A. Smith (Shaqtin' A Fool)". YouTube. Turner Network Television. Retrieved 8 December 2023.
  19. ^ Allen, Scott (February 25, 2017). "Warriors reportedly ask TNT to tell Shaquille O'Neal to lay off JaVale McGee". The Washington Post.
  20. ^ "Shaq went too far in clownin' JaVale McGee on 'Shaqtin' a Fool,' affected his NBA reputation". YouTube.