TNT Helped Shaquille O’Neal From Turning Into Charles Barkley After “Crazy” Health Concerns Aroused

TNT Helped Shaquille O’Neal From Turning Into Charles Barkley After “Crazy” Health Concerns Aroused

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TNT Helped Shaquille O’Neal From Turning Into Charles Barkley After “Crazy” Health Concerns Aroused

Published 05/06/2024, 6:53 AM WAST

By

CAROLINE JOHN

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via Imago

Inside the NBA had already been on air for two decades when Shaquille O’Neal joined the show in 2011. The lineup has not changed since and we can’t imagine regular NBA broadcasts without O’Neal making a weekly Shaqtin a Fool and tormenting Charles Barkley on TNT. Though he joined almost immediately after retirement, TNT was not always on the cards. In fact, multi-hyphenate Shaquille O’Neal had nothing on the cards after leaving the NBA. Yet TNT came through from turning him into the Chuckster.

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On The Old Man and the Three podcast, Shaq told JJ Redick, he was all by himself in his 100,000 sq. ft. home with only his personal chef coming and going. “I just sitting there and I’m starting to get fat like Kendrick [Perkins] and Chuck.” So he countered that by turning to the job they were already doing. “I was just sitting there looking all crazy and then TNT came and I kind of, you know, restarted,” O’Neal stated.

While Perkins is now an ESPN analyst, Barkley joined Inside the NBA immediately after retiring in 2000. Kenny “The Jet” Smith had been working alongside Ernie Johnson two years prior. After Reggie Miller left the studio duties for other NBA on TNT coverage, Shaq got the opportunity to swoop in.

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Being on TNT, he told Redick, filled him with energy. That’s obvious with how passionately he pranks Chuck and goes out of the way to beat Kenny in the race to the board. He also enjoys sitting in Studio J and throwing jabs at Kendrick Perkins from a distance. Lately, though, fans are worried the disbandment of the Inside Guys is drawing near.

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