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What’s Shaquille O’Neal and Stephen A. Smith’s Broadcasting History? Analyzing Their On-Screen Chemistry After Blockbuster Announcement

Published 11/30/2023, 12:32 PM EST

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Christmas celebrations can commence for hoop fans a little early this year. Two of the most popular shows on sports television are set to join forces. It was recently announced that ESPN’s First Take and TNT’s Inside the NBA will merge commentary for the NBA’s In-Season Tournament.

To put this into perspective, Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, and Stephen A. Smith, are all in one place. So while we wait for the big day, let’s take a look at how Shaq and Stephen A. have done so far in their broadcasting career and what we can expect from this collaboration.

Shaquille O’Neal’s big break on TV

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The Big Man concluded an incredibly successful NBA career in 2011. After winning four titles, three Finals MVP, one league MVP, and making 15 All-Star appearances, Shaq decided to hang up his boots. However, another lucrative opportunity was knocking on his door as soon as he quit playing in the league. Since late 2011, Shaq has been part of the adored TNT crew. His addition to the show resulted in revolutionizing sports television as he joined forces with his old friend Chuck.

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Shaq and Chuck are two of the most entertaining individuals on TV. Their banter is something to marvel at, as the two never fail to get on each other’s nerves. While the two veterans lock horns at every opportunity they get, Kenny plays the role of an instigator, and as the elder statesman on the show, Ernie Johnson tries to keep things from going out of hand. However, it is not all fun and games for the TNT crew. With three seasoned NBA veterans and an experienced broadcaster, they provide unparalleled insight into games, players, and everything around the league.

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While the TNT crew have their fun, Stephen A. on the other hand is a ‘Straight Shooter’.

Stephen A. Smith’s TV career

Stephen A. started his journey in the media business back in 1994. He started working as a writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer, where he covered the Philadelphia 76ers. From there he jumped to his radio job, and soon he was a face on television with Quite Frankly with Stephen A. Smith show. Today, he is one of the hosts of ESPN’s First Take and is known for his unfiltered take on the world of sports and popular culture.

The upcoming collaboration with the TNT crew is not something that many people had on their bingo cards. However, there has always been an anticipation about the two biggest television forces coming together for something. Over the years, fans have seen that Shaq and Stephen A. share a good bond between them. So with the new announcement, the anticipation is through the roof.

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Read More: Part of the “Vampire Bloodline”, Shaquille O’Neal’s Daughter Admits to Being Scared of Father’s Wild Prediction

Shaquille O’Neal and Stephen A. Smith together on TV

December 7 will be the day when hoop fans get their dreams fulfilled. Before the games, TNT’s NBA Tip-Off and ESPN’s NBA Countdown crews will be in action with pregame coverage. However, the real fun will begin when Stephen A. and Michael Wilbon join the TNT crew. While fireworks are guaranteed for this unique coverage collaboration, there is one point of concern as well.

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As Stephen A. is the leader of his ship, he often tries to lead the conversation in a direction that he feels is suited. The TNT crew on the other hand is also filled with opinionated and experienced people. Shaq and Chuck often go at each other because of the differences in their opinions. Kenny and Ernie are also seasoned veterans in the media business. So while we hope for an absolute spectacle on December 7th, our one last wish would be that things remain under control so it ends well.

Watch This Story: Humbling Damian Lillard With ‘Goat’ Crown, Shaquille O’Neal Defends Alter Ego Career With 1 Verdict

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Written by:

Prateek Singh

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My introduction to basketball was through Kobe Bryant. Soon enough, I was hooked to his game and although I started with being a fan of his, I also became a fan of basketball. To this day, Kobe remains my reference and guide as I try to navigate through life.
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Edited by:

Caroline Joseph