Shaquille O’Neal was never shy in front of a camera. In many regards you could call him one of the first reality stars. His joking nature mixed with often uncensored opinions made for some memorable moments during live broadcasts. Therefore it is only natural the former Laker has been announced as the newest analyst for TNT.
There honestly is not a better fit for Shaq as he segues into post-hoops life. Being alongside Charles Barkey, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson, Shaq will certainly settle in nicely.
When asked about his new role, Shaq took a very hoops-appropriate approach.
“Charles is a funny guy he’s a guy who says what’s on his mind and makes it interesting. That won’t be hard for me. The good thing about this show is that everybody has his own opinion. Kenny’s a guard, he has the guard’s opinion; Charles is a forward, has the forward’s opinion; my opinion comes from the center’s point of view. I know it will work out very well.”
Of course there is the feud that the media just won’t ever let die. Now that Shaq is a media member himself there is the inherit “how will he handle Kobe criticism?” question.
“I don’t think it will be hard. Some people give unfair criticism, some fair criticism. I have the ability and the backing to give fair criticism. I walked many walks in my 19 years in the league. Any criticism I give should be fair.”
Best of luck to Shaq on his new career. I’m sure he’ll do just fine but let’s hope he fares better than Tiki Barber.