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TNT makes it official, Shaq will join “Inside the NBA”

Jul 14, 2011, 11:14 AM EDT

Shaquille O'Neal laughs as he announces his retirement from NBA at a news conference in Windermere Reuters

Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley at the same desk every Thursday night.

First, that is appointment television. Second, TNT may want to increase its craft services budget (the people who cater food to the set).

TNT made it official Thursday, announcing that Shaquille O’Neal will join the “Inside the NBA” show before and after games on that network (mostly Thursday nights plus some other games and playoffs). Shaq will be on set with Charles Barkley, Ernie Johnson and Kenny “the jet” Smith.

Already this is one of the most entertaining — and at moments insightful — television basketball shows out there. Adding another big personality will just improve the product. Frankly, more Shaq and less Magic Johnson is good for television.

The guy I would hate to see get squeezed in all this is Chris Webber — he is the best guy that TNT and NBA TV have working on air. (TNT produces the NBA TV studio shows.) Reports are he will still call games but not be in studio for TNT. Which is a shame. Webber is funny, insightful and I still miss him and Kevin McHale doing NBA TV together, they were fantastic. Just don’t kick the man to the curb.

  1. savocabol1 - Jul 14, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    Barkley and Shaq will make for some of the worst commentary/analyst work in the NBA as far as accuracy and intelligence go. I sometimes wonder if Barkley ever really watches the games he is so opinionated on.

    They will however provide good comedic entertainment.

  2. inlightenphoto - Jul 14, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    Kevin McHale….fantastic?? I can’t disagree more. He’s awful. He constantly refers to Tim Duncan as “Timmy Duncan” or “Timmy D”. It’s so stupid. I counted him saying it 18 times in the first three minutes of a game.

  3. theripster30 - Jul 14, 2011 at 2:24 PM

    There is no point in taking a stab at Magic. He hasn’t been with TNT in years, so I don’t understand how he is relevant to this story. Nobody cares about your bias. However, we do care about your less than mediocre grammar.

    Just for the record, nobody tunes in for Webber. I think he is good at what he does, but to say he is the best TNT employee is nothing short of moronic.

  4. smitheye - Jul 14, 2011 at 3:12 PM


  5. bittersonicsfan - Jul 14, 2011 at 3:23 PM


    Agreed. For all we know, Shaq could be a terrible tv personality. I’m not looking forward to any changes with inside the NBA. Barkley, smith, and Johnson are great as is. But way to make a Shaq article turn into an anti-Magic article. Dink.

  6. thestudiokida - Jul 14, 2011 at 4:52 PM

    This is a mistake. Shaq isn’t a terrible TV personality but when is the last time you heard him say something serious about basketball? He’s a huge goofball. Charles Barkley is a goofball but knows when to get serious and offers a lot of real insight.

    I agree that Magic is just awful to listen to while Chris Webber is excellent. McHale/Webber is a hilarious duo who should be calling games together.

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