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Did Shaq catch the Charles Barkley bug? The NBA pro-turned-analyst, multi-faceted entrepreneur, Reebok Prez, EDM artist, and endorsement machine is considering retirement! Or so he told YouTuber Funny Marco. This update comes amidst the reports of TNT’s association with NBA coming to an end and his cryptic message about being “replaced.”

There was a time when Shaquille O’Neal used to say he was glad to keep working. But who knew he was making retirement plans for the second time? However, these plans are a little more questionable than the goodbye tour he did before calling it a day on his NBA career. Perhaps the possibility of the NBA leaving TNT has made him re-evaluate things. He was absent from the May 19 edition of Inside the NBA on TNT, casting doubt on his as well as the network’s future with the league.

When he hosted Funny Marco on The Big Podcast, he had a deep discussion about his life without basketball. Marco felt Shaq didn’t show enough emotion about this subject, to which the big guy countered, “I show emotions about one thing. When I do turn 60, I’m checking in the old folks’ home,” Shaq said.

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And not just any place near one of his six kids. He’s picked a specific spot for his sunset years. “It’s a place in Orlando called The Villages and they have the highest rate of STDs in the country. I’ll be there, ” Shaq said before adding, “I already bought my little plot.”

The Villages is the world’s largest retirement community in Shaq’s beloved Orlando and with Shaq 52 now, it leaves him a little less than a decade before he moves to retirement home. Atleast he has a plan for what he wants to do post-retirement, unlike the time he retired as a player.

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O’Neal has often revealed how he wasn’t sure of what to do after he hung up his boots in 2011. While he took up the TNT job eventually, he wasn’t too open to that idea for some time. But it has become his home for the past 10+ years. However, that could change pretty soon.

NBA is negotiating a three part deal with new partners with Amazon Prime and ESPN understood to have grabbed the two spots. It has left TNT and NBC going head to head for the last slice of the pie and so far the reports suggest that Shaq’s decade long association with TNT could come to an end.

According to the Wall Street Journal, NBC’s parent company Comcast Universal is offering $2.5 billion per year for the rights which is more than double what Warner Bros. Discovery (TNT’s parent company) is currently offered NBA has part of its current deal. Could this mean early retirement for the legend?

Shaquille O’Neal is in no hurry to move on to Plan B, remains confident of TNT-NBA deal

Shortly after TNT added Shaq as a permanent studio analyst at Inside the NBA in 2011, Charles Barkley was considering retirement already. Chuck, who had been on the show since 2000, claimed, “Anyone who works past 60 is an idiot.” Yet he renewed his contract in 2015 with Shaq, Kenny and Ernie. They signed 10-year extensions again in 2022. Since then, Chuck has repeatedly hinted at retiring before the contract is up.

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61-year-old Chuck, though, has been rooting for the survival of Inside the NBA alongside his co-hosts. Shaq and Chuck recently went to New York to court ad buyers for the ‘TNT Sports’ Upfront presentation.

While there, Shaq expressed that he has faith in TNT’s CEO to negotiate a deal that will keep Inside the NBA on the air with all four of them. He said, “I don’t know [about the show’s future], but hopefully David Zaslav will take care of business, I’m sure he will. I think we’re in a great spot right now.”

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But on the other hand, his Instagram post following his absence from Inside the NBA on May 19 hinted at something else. Shaq’s IG post read, “Humble enough to know I can be replaced, but wise enough to know ain’t nobody else like me.” This could hint that he’s resigned to the show ending.

O’Neal would be far from unemployed or mourning a pay cut. He wants Inside the NBA to stay because he loves the show. He has no reason to expedite his relocation to The Villages until then.