Shaquille O’Neal + running on the TNT set + dress shoes = yikes (Video)

TNT analysts Kenny Smith, Chris Webber and Shaquille O'Neal decided to spend large chunks of halftime of Thursday's game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers exercising. This is because, in the narrative of the "Inside the NBA" universe, the broadcasters are preparing for their upcoming "Chariots of Backfire" footrace, the next step in an ongoing goof that began with Webber making fun of the way Kenny runs, continued with Kenny making fun of Webber's college title game timeout and now progresses because basic cable hilarity seeks new heights. We can all understand how important it is to keep fit and maintain a strict training regimen ahead of a grueling race, but it felt reasonable to harbor some safety concerns. I mean, those shiny TV studio floors can be dangerous, you know?

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I hope no 7-foot-1-inch, 350-pound giants planned to try to run suicides in dress shoes out there. Just because you've done it before doesn't mean it's necessarily safe to do it again.

From The Big Aristotle to The Big Slip'n Slide. At the moment of his reaction, Webber — an established voice of reason in basketball broadcasting (opinions from Dallas aside) — truly communicated the feelings of a nation.

But what did it feel like when the Diesel went down? We turn now to the leader of TNT's three-ring circus for the answer:

Well struck, Ernie. As for you, Shaq, I'd suggest putting some ice on that hip, but I'm pretty sure you're already taken care of in the pain management department.

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Dan Devine

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