Shaq misses TNT show appearance, shares cryptic message about being ‘replaced’

shaq face shot from youtube podcast episode in may 2024
Shaq during an appearance on his YouTube podcast. Pic credit: @TheBigPod/YouTube

Basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal may have raised concerns with fans as he missed his recent television show appearance.

The four-time NBA champion regularly appears as one of TNT’s hosts on Inside the NBA, alongside Ernie Johnson, Kenny “The Jet” Smith, and Charles Barkley.

The Emmy-winning crew has covered NBA games on TNT throughout many seasons and special events such as the All-Star Game and the playoffs.

Several days ago, Shaq was not among the hosts as the program opened its coverage of a big playoff game with another retired basketball star in his seat.

Ernie introduced Vince Carter as one of the hosts for Sunday’s playoff game coverage, indicating that he was there filling in for Shaq.

Meanwhile, Shaq posted an intriguing message on his social media, which received much attention.

Shaq shared a message about being ‘replaced’ amid uncertainty over future with TNT

On his Instagram, Shaq shared a message on a black background. The former Los Angeles Lakers star said he “had to steal” the quote from his friend, former NBA player Stephen Jackson.

“Humble enough to know I can be replaced, but wise enough to know ain’t nobody else like me,” the on-screen text said.

screenshot of shaq instagram post about being replaced
Shaq shared a cryptic message on his social media. Pic credit: @shaq/Instagram

That prompted many reactions from fans, who mentioned the news that’s been swirling about TNT losing its deal for NBA coverage, which would mean their popular show, Inside the NBA, could be over.

According to a recent Forbes report, ESPN, Amazon, and NBC want to acquire TV rights to broadcast the NBA. All three giants have multi-billion dollar offers on the table, and should they complete the deals, it would likely close the door on TNT’s coverage of the league.

Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc., a multimedia and entertainment conglomerate, operates multiple properties and channels, including Turner Broadcasting and TNT Sports.

After being stopped on the street, Shaquille O’Neal spoke briefly about the situation, saying he didn’t know if the Inside the NBA coverage on TNT would continue.

“Hopefully, David Zaslav will take care of business,” he said, referring to Warner Bros. Discovery’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

“I think we’re in a great spot right now,” Shaq said in the brief interview video clip on Adam’s Apple YouTube channel (below).

While the future is uncertain for the TNT crew, Shaq has other businesses and projects to focus on. He currently hosts The Big Podcast with Shaq with Adam Lefkoe, with episodes on YouTube.

In addition, he’s one of the hosts of a new game show, Lucky 13, coming to ABC this summer. A Deadline report indicated that actress Gina Rodriguez will also host.

Fans reacted to Shaq’s cryptic message amid TV rights situation

Fans flooded Shaq’s comment section for the recent message, with many indicating they weren’t happy with what was happening with TNT and the Inside the NBA show.

“Not watching if you’re not apart of the TNT Cast or Inside the NBA,” one commenter said.

“Replaced!?!?” a commenter wrote, with another replying that “Inside the NBA is now in its last season.”

“I can’t imagine what will happen to the NBA without you and the TNT crew next season,” another individual commented with a crying emoji.

screenshot of fans reacting to shaq message about being repelaced
NBA fans weigh in. Pic credit: @shaq/Instagram

Shaq’s absence arrived on Sunday, May 19, as TNT covered Game 7 of the Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Semifinals. Minnesota achieved an impressive comeback in Denver to win the series-deciding game.

The Inside the NBA crew typically appears for a pre-game show, halftime, and post-game coverage on TNT.

TNT will cover the entire Western Conference Finals, starting with Game 1 on Wednesday night. If a team has a sweep in the seven-game series, there will only be four televised games on TNT.

There could be as many as seven games if they go the distance. However, who will and won’t appear as Inside the NBA hosts during the various games remains unclear.

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