Move over Shaunie O’Neal. Shaquille O’Neal a.k.a The Big Diesel has announced that he will be making his own television debut.
But no worries Shaunie, while Shaq’s new new role involves him working alongside Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson, the show is not titled “Basketball Bachelors” and it does not involve cameras following them around all day detailing their daily lives.
Instead, Shaquille O’Neal will be joining Turner Sports as a full-time TV analyst across its NBA coverage. The 15-time All-Star agreed to a multiyear contract with them on Thursday and will take the fourth chair on the set of “Inside the NBA”.
O’Neal will be greeted with open arms as Kenny Smith has already jokingly nicknamed his new colleague “The Big Analytical” stating that he “can’t wait to make verbal passes to the most dominant center of our time.” Also, Turner Sports President David Levy said Barkley was one of the biggest proponents for hiring O’Neal.
ESPN tried to recruit O’Neal but the sports world’s biggest TV free agent says he didn’t want to start a bidding war for his services between networks. “(Inside the NBA) has always been my favorite show. I thought that was just the best fit for me,” O’Neal said.
O’Neal, a four-time champion says he still expects to run for sheriff in the future, but for now, we get to see The Big Diesel or The Big Analytical (whichever he may now prefer), be part of TNT’s coverage of All-Star Weekend and the playoffs.