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Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Mike McDaniel

Shaq Humorously Blames ‘Damn Cannabis’ After Calling Tyrese Haliburton by Wrong Name

The much-anticipated crossover between ESPN’s NBA Countdown and TNT’s Inside The NBA during the league’s inaugural in-season tournament in Las Vegas certainly lived up to the hype Thursday night.

In one of several memorable moments, TNT’s Shaquille O’Neal called Pacers star Tyrese Haliburton by the wrong name on set—and then placed blame on an unexpected culprit.

“I … we … don’t get to see you play a lot. It was a joy watching you today,” O’Neal said to Haliburton after Indiana’s 128–119 win over the Bucks. “I came in the green room, and I told Kenny, I said ‘Kenny, Trae [Young] is the real deal.’”

“So is Tyrese [Haliburton],” quipped TNT host Ernie Johnson, quickly realizing O’Neal’s mistake.

“I mean Tyrese, excuse me. You remind me of … Ernie, it ain’t me. It’s that damn cannabis behind me,” O’Neal said, apparently blaming the Las Vegas crowd for giving him a contact high, as the set erupted in laughter.

Chalk it up to Shaq being Shaq. If one thing’s for certain, it’s that his TNT co-hosts will never let him live that one down.

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