TNT’s Inside the NBA may be done for the season, but that didn’t stop us from getting a heartwarming moment between Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley on Sunday night.

The lovable duo appeared on NBA TV’s pregame show in Denver ahead of Game 2 of the NBA Finals, and Shaq had plenty of nice things to say about his partner in crime, calling Barkley “the older brother I never had.” It turns out O’Neal and Barkley were connected even before their friendship grew on television.

“His mom and my mom had the sweetest friendship, and I didn’t even know,” O’Neal said. “I used to hate Charles. We were getting ready to get into a fight, and before I could get to the locker room and put my clothes on to go down to the locker room and see him, I get a call from his mother… who said ‘don’t you hit my boy’ and I was like ‘who is this?’”

This was great:

Even if the two occasionally trade barbs on television, it appears the relationship between them has never been stronger. According to Shaq, those tense moments are all out of love.

“We fight, we argue,” O’Neal said. “I have little brothers, I have teammates, Grant [Hill] has seen me choke one of my teammates out. It’s part of love.” 

NBA fans loved it: