Last week's news that Shaquille O'Neal would be joining Turner Sports after retiring from the NBA is met with further clarification on Wednesday, as John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that Shaq will be added to TNT's award-winning Inside The NBA studio show, which stars Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and anchor Ernie Johnson. Ourand reports that Shaq's deal will also include projects for Turner's entertainment and animation divisions. Inside The NBA, which regularly airs after TNT's Thursday double-header during the regular season, is beloved by a great number of basketball fans, and is without question the best NBA studio show on TV.
TNT has played with a four-person panel before. Magic Johnson was a regular on the show before signing a deal with ABC and ESPN, and Chris Webber has been exemplary in spot appearances on Inside The NBA. (Webber also does color commentary work for TNT and NBA TV.) During the playoffs, TNT also often brings in idle NBA stars to join the panel for halftime discussion, and would borrow NBA TV on-air personalities like Kevin McHale (now the Houston Rockets' head coach).
How Shaq will fit in to the already bombastic line-up remains to be seen, but it's hard to imagine a more goofy, fun-loving addition.