Fans of Shaquille O’Neal on Inside the NBA and the NBA on TNT are about to get a whole lot more of The Big Aristotle on Turner Sports platforms.
On Monday morning, Turner announced that O’Neal has agreed to a multi-year extension with the network that will expand his presence across WarnerMedia properties. [Update: According to The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch, the extension is for more than two years.]
Naturally, the extension means Shaq will continue as a studio analyst for the NBA on TNT and Inside the NBA. O’Neal will also appear on NBA TV, including an upcoming series titled “The Bizne$$ of Basketball.” Additionally, he’ll contribute to NBA.com.
His “Shaqtin a Fool” segment from Inside the NBA which shows basketball mishaps and goofy plays will also be expanded to other platforms (yet to be announced) and apparently include more than basketball. Maybe that will be included among the content O’Neal will executive-produce content for Bleacher Report “hitting the intersection of sports and culture.” “America’s Funniest Shaq Videos,” maybe?
According to Turner’s official release, O’Neal’s “The Big Podcast with Shaq” will also move to the WarnerMedia Podcast Network early next year. (The show has been hosted by PodcastOne.) The network currently includes podcasts from other WarnerMedia outlets like CNN, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, and Bleacher Report. Whether or not the podcast will go under the Bleacher Report banner isn’t clear, though that seems like the ideal fit.
Shaq will also be part of CNN’s New Year’s Eve Live coverage and Turner’s official release makes it sound as if he’ll play a DJ-type entertainment role. Co-hosting the program with Anderson Cooper apparently won’t be included in that role, maybe because Cooper would have to stand on a box throughout the evening to measure up with Shaq on camera. (Plus, whoever has to stand behind O’Neal on the CNN stage probably wouldn’t be able to see Times Square.)
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) August 24, 2020
Finally, the announcement includes a tease that Shaq may appear on TNT’s AEW (All-Elite Wrestling) coverage at some point.
O’Neal has been with Turner Sports as an Inside the NBA analyst since 2011, following an NBA career of 19 seasons that earned a Basketball Hall of Fame induction. Since being the league’s No. 1 overall pick in 1992, Shaq won three NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers and one with the Miami Heat, three NBA Finals Most Valuable Player awards, and was a 15-time All-Star.