Even Hall of Fame basketball players know that there is nothing bigger this week than Super Bowl 55. Shaquille O’Neal is brushing aside LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo to talk Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes.
Shaquille O’Neal was an all-time NBA great
Shaquille O’Neal is enjoying a second career in basketball thanks to his role as an analyst on TNT’s coverage of the NBA.
O’Neal had a phenomenal college and pro career as a player, beginning with his NCAA days for LSU and then transitioning into the NBA with the Orlando Magic. He also played for five other teams in a 19-year career.
O’Neal averaged 23.4 points and 13.9 rebounds in his first season to dominate the Rookie of the Year balloting by a 96-2 margin over Alonzo Mourning. He left the Magic after four seasons to spend eight years playing for the Los Angeles Lakers, where O’Neal won the first three of his four NBA championships alongside Kobe Bryant.
His final NBA crown came with the Miami Heat in 2006, and Shaq completed his playing days with stints in Phoenix, Cleveland, and Boston. O’Neal retired with averages of 23.7 points and 10.7 rebounds throughout his career. He led the league in scoring twice and shooting percentage 10 times, including eight times in a span of nine years.
O’Neal was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. He joined TNT in 2011 and works alongside Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson analyzing action and issues around the league.
Shaquille O’Neal is getting in on the Super Bowl 55 action with Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes
Shaquille O’Neal signed a multi-year extension with TNT last summer to continue covering the NBA. The deal will also see him branching out with appearances in a series about the business of basketball for NBA TV and contributions to NBA.com.
CNN added him to live coverage of New Year’s Eve and gave O’Neal executive producer status with Turner Sports’ Bleacher Report franchise. He also picked up a development deal with WarnerMedia, which gives him the ability to expand beyond basketball.
Never one to stand still, O’Neal is getting in on the Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes action with a Shaq Bowl show on Feb. 7 in Tampa, site of Super Bowl 55. It’s being promoted as a three-hour special available on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, and other social media platforms, and co-hosted by retired NFL receivers Terrell Owens and Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson.
Shaq has a great take on Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes
Shaquille O’Neal says he got a kick out of seeing Tom Brady lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to Super Bowl 55 after an awkward breakup with the New England Patriots, where he won six rings.
“And then the franchise kind of (says), ‘Oh, you’re old, bye!’ And he said ‘OK, you don’t wanna take care of me, after all I did for this city? Watch this!’” O’Neal said, according to TMZ. “(He) goes to another a city, promises them a Super Bowl and delivers? Wooo!”
So, it comes down to 43-year-old Tom Brady vs. 25-year-old Patrick Mahomes.
“This is what I like to see in championship games — the old versus the new,” O’Neal said. “Is it gonna be the old guy to continue to dominate? Or will the young guy finally come in to say, ‘Hey, I know you’re Tom Brady, but this is my time to shine?’
“I used to watch these type of karate movies growing up because, at some point, the student must kill the master to become the master.”