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Did Shaquille O’Neal Leave TNT? Explaining Big Diesel’s Absence On Inside the NBA

Prateek Singh

Did Shaquille O’Neal Leave TNT? Explaining Big Diesel’s Absence On Inside the NBA

Inside the NBA has been the go-to show for hoop fans for decades now. However, it has been marred with some worrying rumors in recent months. The panel of Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, and Kenny Smith might be on their last lap as a crew. Even though their presence becomes more important during the playoffs, fans noticed that the big fella was MIA on the last episode when the crew covered the Game 7 between the Minnesota Timberwolves and the Denver Nuggets.

The reason fans speculated the end is because the show has been rumored to go off air very soon. TNT, the platform that airs the show is a division of Warner Bros. Discovery. WBD has held the NBA rights for a long time but according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, Comcast is willing to bid $2.5 billion a year for the same deal.

Many people believe that the deal is already done, and the TNT crew is keeping it under wraps to not mess up fans’ excitement for the playoffs.

Regardless, it’s clear that no one wants to open their mouth to speak on the subject at the moment. Amidst the hush, the big fella posted a cryptic message on Instagram, “Humble enough to know I can be replaced, but wise enough to know ain’t nobody else like me.” Even though he said he took the post from Stephen Jackson’s IG, the timing of it is interesting because his spot on the show’s last episode was filled in by Vince Carter.


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A post shared by DR. SHAQUILLE O’NEAL Ed.D. (@shaq)

It is worth noting that there’s nothing official about Shaq leaving the show. In addition to that, it is highly unlikely that the big fella will leave the show as there’s no report of animosity between him and the network. To strengthen these claims further, Shaq posted, “hey charles kenny ernie and vince jenna says hi” on X as the last episode was on the air.

It’s not unusual for the TNT crew to miss certain episodes. We have seen Sir Charles miss episodes in the past, however, those moments were addressed on the show and fans were informed of the reason behind it. There’s one fan theory that’s doing the rounds as to why Shaq missed the important Game 7, and it’s hilarious, to say the least.

A clip of the show was uploaded on YouTube by House of Highlights. As fans noticed that Mr. Half Man, Half Amazing was filling in for the big fella, they wondered if Shaq was ducking the smoke.

He has been talking big game the entire postseason, rooting for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who he believed should’ve won the MVP award. Unfortunately for Shaq, Shai got knocked out in the second round. Several fans commented under the clip that Shaq is avoiding screen presence so that he doesn’t have to deal with the ridicule for his take.

In conclusion, there’s no reason to think that there’s something wrong between TNT and Shaq. The NBA legend is a man of many talents and businesses, it could be one of those unavoidable commitments that made him miss the Game 7 show.

Post Edited By:Sameen Nawathe

About the author

Prateek Singh

Prateek Singh


Prateek is a Senior NBA Writer for The SportsRush. He has over 900 published articles under his name. Prateek merged his passion for writing and his love for the sport of basketball to make a career out of it. Other than basketball, he is also an ardent follower of the UFC and soccer. Apart from the world of sports, he has followed hip-hop religiously and often writes about the origins, evolution, and the biggest stars of the music genre.

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