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Boring? Utahns take issue with Barkley comment

Posted at 10:03 PM, Feb 19, 2023

SALT LAKE CITY — While Salt Lake City has earned nearly rave reviews as host of this year's NBA All-Star Weekend, it appears that legends Charles Barkley and Shaquille O'Neal did not enjoy their time in the Beehive State.

During Sunday's telecast of the All-Star Game, Barkley used an expletive when talking about his time in Salt Lake City.

"These people going to heaven at this rate, there ain't nothing to do in this boring-___ city," said Barkley, as his fellow commentators laughed.

When questioned by one of his co-hosts, Barkley, who has made his share of controversial comments, complimented Utah's capital city before resuming his attack.

"It's a great city, but there ain't nothing to do here. These people all going to heaven," he continued.

Seeing another wave of controversy coming from his colleague's mouth, O'Neal could be heard saying "Oh my gosh" after Barkley's comments before seemingly agreeing with his opinion.

"I never ate so much room service in my life," he added, implying that there was no place to go out for a meal.

Before the conversation turned to another topic, Barkley explained why he found Salt Lake City so boring.

"Can't smoke, can't drink; these people going to heaven," Barkley said while laughing.

Angry reaction over Barkley and Shaq's comments came swift and furious over social media.

"Super disappointing take," tweeted State Sen. Nate Blouin. "Do better Shaq and Charles! Bet y'all were just cooped up in the all star VIP areas and didn't even get into the city, and are just perpetuating a reputation we're working hard to change."

Early Monday, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall shared her thoughts on Twitter and even offered her services as a tour guide.

"....you and Charles clearly need a local to show you #SLC. Come back any time and I’d be happy to take you to any of the world famous restaurants, bars and outdoor spaces you must have missed while you were here."

Even Bill Walton, the legendary free spirit and 2-time NBA champion, felt both Barkley and Shaq were way off.

"How cool has this been," Walton asked rhetorically. "Salt Lake city, why don't we just have every All-Star Game right here?"

Over 100,000 visitors were expected to attend the All-Star events in northern Utah throughout the weekend.