Shaquille O’Neal Inks Deal With Turner Sports

The Big Diesel will team with Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson to make the TNT studio show even more entertaining.

Posted: 07/14/2011 05:54 PM EDT
Shaquille O'Neal

Let’s just call him the Big Analytical now.


A month after Shaquille O’Neal retired from the NBA after 19 years, the once dominant big man has inked a multiyear deal with Turner Sports to work as an analyst for network’s NBA coverage.


So if we thought the TNT studio show was entertaining, it should be off the charts next season with a lineup that will include Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Ernie Johnson and O’Neal. In addition to the studio show, Shaq will also be part of and NBA TV.


“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.”


It was always expected that O’Neal and his larger than life personality would end up in front of the camera in some capacity once his playing career was over. Apparently ESPN/ABC made a push for the Big Diesel, but TNT and a chance to revive his rivalry with Barkley ultimately won out.


The 15-time NBA All-Star and future Hall of Famer will likely replace Chris Webber, who primarily served as the fourth analyst all of last season.


“I’m just going to try to make it more fun than it already is,” O’Neal said during a conference call.


Contact Terrance Harris at or follow him on Twitter @Terranceharris



(Photo: AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)

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