A.K., Bubba join Shaq, Barkley on ABC

Charles Barkley during the 2009 Lake Tahoe Celebrity Golf Championship.

Charles Barkley during the 2009 Lake Tahoe Celebrity Golf Championship.

PARAMUS, N.J. – Need a way to beat the summer TV re-runs tonight? May I recommend a dose of reality that’s sure to have a built-in laugh track.

Tonight’s episode of “Shaq Vs.” on ABC promises to be “Must See TV” as Shaq takes to the fairway in a heated head-to-head match with Charles Barkley. I say this, of course, having never watched the program before (though if I had I might not admit to it).

So that they could finish a hole, let alone the match, within the allotted time, each basketball legend picked a PGA Tour pro as a partner. Shaq selected Bubba Watson and Sir Charles took Anthony Kim.

As a Phoenix Suns season ticketholder, Watson said he was friendly with “The Big Aristotle” from his days with the team in 2008-2009.

“I’m friends with Charles Barkley, too, but he is worse than Shaq, and Shaq had never played,” Watson said. “It’s pretty embarrassing.”

Watson said he hadn’t seen the episode yet and couldn’t wait to see how they stitched it together.

He added this nugget: It was Kim’s first golf since his thumb surgery and there wasn’t a driving range at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Golf Links in Calif., for him to warm up.

“I was scared for him, but he made it through the five-hole match,” he said.

SPOILER ALERT: Watson advised that Barkley plays left-handed and don’t be surprised if this grudge match goes extra holes.

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