SBD/July 11, 2011/Media

Shaquille O'Neal Reportedly Set To Join Turner Sports' NBA Coverage

Shaq could be joining TNT's Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith
Recently retired NBAer Shaquille O’Neal has “agreed in principle” to join Turner Sports’ NBA coverage, according to sources cited by CNBC's Darren Rovell (TWITTER.com, 7/9). The speculation is that O'Neal “would replace” TNT’s Chris Webber, although the network “has not made an announcement” (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 7/10). USA TODAY’s Michael McCarthy writes it is “better for TNT to grab him before ESPN tries to turn him into the next” Charles Barkley. McCarthy: “But would the studio be big enough for the egos of Shaq and Barkley? Stay tuned” (USA TODAY, 7/11). CBSSPORTS.com’s Royce Young wrote it “really was just a question of where Shaq would go.” With his “big personality, popularity and knack for being great on camera, it really was going to come down to ESPN or Turner.” O'Neal decision to join TNT "just means the best is only getting better.” With Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Barkley and Webber -- who “was terrific in his first year as an analyst -- Turner has the market cornered on excellent NBA studio commentary” (CBSSPORTS.com, 7/10).
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