Shaq Joins TNT With Kenny Smith And Charles Barkley
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Shaquille O’Neal has agreed to a multiyear deal with Turner Sports to become an analyst on its NBA coverage.
O’Neal, who retired last month, will join TNT’s studio show with Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson. He also will contribute to NBA TV and NBA.com.
The agreement announced Thursday includes a development deal with Turner’s entertainment and animation networks.
A four-time NBA champion during his 19-year career, the 7-foot-1 O’Neal also had one of the NBA’s biggest personalities, one who gave himself many of his nicknames. He was expected to quickly find work in the entertainment industry upon his retirement.
“The addition of ‘The Big Analytical’ will be terrific,” Smith said in a statement. “I can’t wait to make verbal passes to the most dominant center of our time.”
O’Neal will be part of TNT’s coverage of All-Star weekend — scheduled next season for Orlando, his first NBA home — and the playoffs.
A 15-time All-Star, O’Neal decided to retire in fifth place on the league’s career scoring list after he was slowed by injuries in recent seasons. But even as his game suffered, he remained one of the NBA’s most popular players and should fit right in on the fourth seat of the TNT studio show, occupied mostly last season by Chris Webber.
“Shaq knows the game and, on and off the floor, he has always been entertaining; a guy who gets it,” Johnson said.
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