Barkley and Shaq criticize Salt Lake City, say it’s ‘boring’

Feb 20, 2023, 11:03 AM | Updated: Feb 21, 2023, 11:45 am

SALT LAKE CITY — While thousands of people arrived to Salt Lake City for the NBA All-Star Game this last weekend, Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal were unimpressed.

“These people going to heaven. Ain’t nothing to do in this boring-*** city,” Barkley said in an interview.

“Oh my gosh,” O’Neal said in reply laughing and then added, “I never ate so much room service in my life.”

People were quick to react to the interview on Twitter, including SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall.

Sen. Nate Blouin also responded to the comments saying they were “perpetuating a reputation we’re working hard to change.”

“I’ve lived here my whole life and I don’t think this is a boring city. You have just got to get out and see it,” Russ Clark, a bartender at Bout Time Pub and Grub at the Gateway, said in an interview Monday with KSL TV. “I’ve never had a problem getting a drink here. Give them my number and I’ll take care of them.”

Brian Waskeiwicz, who was heading back to Detroit Monday after visiting Salt Lake City for six days during the All-Star weekend, said, “It was phenomenal. Love the town, love the mountains.”

“It was amazing. This is my first time here and it’s the best trip ever,” said Amy Wagel, who was traveling home with Waskeiwicz. “If (Barkley and Shaq) needed help, they could have called. I could have told them all the places to go.”

While some responses defended Salt Lake City and the many restaurants and shops available here as well as the proximity to some of the best outdoor recreation in the country, others used it as an excuse to jokingly push people away from coming to the Beehive State.

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Barkley and Shaq criticize Salt Lake City, say it’s ‘boring’