Richard Deitsch launched the Sports Illustrated media podcast with a big guest: Shaquille O’Neal.Turner Sports newest broadcaster discussed his role on Inside The NBA.
“I have a comical love/hate relationship with Kenny [Smith],” Shaq said, adding that he is good friends with Charles Barkley and has a great deal of respect for Ernie Johnson.
ESPN also made an offer – a good one, according to the former player – but he chose Turner because it was a better fit.
“I didn’t get into this for the monetary aspect,” he said. “I didn’t want to put two great entities into a bidding war.”
(Deitsch smartly noted that the TNT gig is only once a week and the company’s headquarters are close to Shaq’s home.)
The centre also spoke about the treatment of LeBron James, arguing it was fair.
“I would not characterise it as unfair because like I said, it happened to everyone,” he said. “It happened to [Michael] Jordan when he went to Atlantic City to get away from the game. It happened to Barkley. It happened to [Dennis] Rodman. It happened to Magic [Johnson]. It happens to everybody. If it just started this year I would call it unfair, but I’ve been in the game for 20 years and I’ve seen similar stories.”
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