“Is That The Only Phrase You Know?”: Charles Barkley Goes At Shaquille O’Neal’s Butchered French Amidst Victor Wembanyama’s ROTY Celebration

“Is That The Only Phrase You Know?”: Charles Barkley Goes At Shaquille O’Neal’s Butchered French Amidst Victor Wembanyama’s ROTY Celebration

The Inside The NBA crew can create a viral moment out of nothing, and their unique superpower was on display during Monday’s tip-off show. The crew chatted over a video call with Victor Wembanyama, who was named the NBA’s Rookie of the Year. At the end of their conversation with the San Antonio Spurs star, hilarity ensued.

As the crew serenaded Wembanyama off with applause, Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal flexed his command over French and yelled “C’est bon,” which means “That’s good.” His comment prompted Charles Barkley to have a dig at his co-host, and he asked, “Is that the only phrase you know, dude?

O’Neal proved he wasn’t a one-trick pony and yelled, “Merci beaucoup,” which means “Thank you very much.” Ernie Johnson couldn’t resist showing off his French and said, “Bonsoir,” meaning “Good evening.” While the crew tried to one-up each other, Wembanyama sat and watched them butcher his native tongue but was kind enough to sign off with a compliment, saying, “Good accent.”

This wasn’t the first rodeo involving Wembanyama, the Inside the NBA crew, and the French language. Following the Spurs’ narrow win over the Phoenix Suns in November, the rookie interviewed with the crew after the game and during it, Barkley left him befuddled by asking him what churros were called in French.

Barkley’s question was a callback to his sly dig at the women of San Antonio, a beef that has been running for over two decades. Wembanyama likely wasn’t aware of the Hall of Famer’s longstanding rivalry with San Antonio’s women, but he’ll surely learn soon if he hasn’t.

Victor Wembamyana follows David Robinson and Tim Duncan’s path

Victor Wembanyama was also expected to have a steep learning curve in his debut season in the NBA, but the Frenchman seemed right at home in the league. He played 71 games in the regular season and averaged 21.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists, an astonishing 3.6 blocks, and 1.2 steals. He also shot over 32% from beyond the arc.

Per Nike, Wembanyama created NBA history and became the first player to average 20-10-3-3-1 and hit one three-point per game.

Wembanyama’s blocking is perhaps his most impressive trait and it was on full display in his debut season. He blocked 254 shots in 71 games, averaging 3.6 per outing, the third-most by a rookie, behind Manute Bol and Spurs icon David Robinson.

The French star was locked in a tight race with Oklahoma City Thunder’s Chet Holmgren for the Rookie of the Year award. But Wembanyama’s sustained dominance saw him establish himself as the front-runner and he eventually received all 99 first-place votes for the coveted prize.

Per NBA records, he became the sixth player after Ralph Sampson (1984), Robinson (1990), Blake Griffin (2011), Damian Lillard (2013) and Karl-Anthony Towns (2016) to win the award unanimously.

Wembanyama winning the Rookie of the Year award completed a hat trick for the Spurs. He continued the lineage of the franchise’s first overall picks winning the prize, joining David Robinson and Tim Duncan in achieving the feat. If he continues on the path they carved, the franchise will have to create room for a few more championship banners inside their home arena.

Related Articles