NBA fans for the most part have embraced TNT’s more casual and, for the lack of a better word, goofy coverage of the NBA. Rather than shaping Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley into more polished and vanilla analysts, TNT has developed their studio coverage to center around their personalities and chemistry. It has worked very well in the past but many were skeptical about how Shaq’s addition to the fold would alter the breezy chemistry the group has developed.
As evidenced below, early indications are that Shaq and the rest of the TNT studio team mesh quite nicely, as Shaq forays into some hijinks aimed at Barkley in the “Who He Play For?” segment:
If anything, the only real question mark is if Ernie Johnson can continue to referee/navigate Smith, Shaq, and Barkley. Those guys are all great television personalities who entertain and have unique commentary, but Johnson is the studio floor general of the group and has to ensure some semblance of timing, seriousness, and analysis. That said, is it a stretch to say that outside of College Gameday, the TNT studio group is the most entertaining group in all of sports?