The calls came as soon as Shaquille O’Neal decided to retire, all wanting to hire one of the NBA’s greatest entertainers.
TNT’s “Inside the NBA” studio show had been O’Neal’s favorite as a player, so the choice was easy.
Get ready for the Big Analyzer, Big Commentator, or whatever other nickname he takes in the next phase of his career.
O’Neal agreed Thursday to a multiyear deal with Turner Sports to become an analyst on its NBA coverage, where he will fold his 7-foot-1 frame into the fourth chair on the TNT set alongside Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson.
“I’m just going to try to make it more fun than it already is,” O’Neal said during a conference call.
O’Neal also will contribute to NBA TV and NBA.com, and his agreement includes a development deal with Turner’s entertainment and animation networks.
O’Neal said he had offers from ABC/ESPN and others upon retiring last month, but quickly chose the Turner offer, saying he wasn’t interested in creating a bidding war for his services.
O’Neal was a four-time NBA champion during his 19-year career.