Shaq shares cryptic message about being ‘replaced’ after hiding from TNT

Shaq shares cryptic message about being ‘replaced’ after abrupt NBA on TNT absence and uncertain future

SHAQUILLE O’Neal has sent fans into a frenzy with a cryptic social media post.

The Los Angeles Lakers legend, 52, was missing from Sunday’s edition of Inside the NBA.

Shaquille O’Neal had fans trying to decode his recent cryptic Instagram post
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Shaquille O’Neal had fans trying to decode his recent cryptic Instagram postCredit: Getty

The NBA legend's future on Inside the NBA with Charles Barkley (right) remains unclear
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The NBA legend’s future on Inside the NBA with Charles Barkley (right) remains unclearCredit: Getty

The popular TNT lineup could soon be broken up
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The popular TNT lineup could soon be broken upCredit: Getty
Shaq has been a mainstay of the popular TNT program since 2012.

Inside the NBA’s future is currently in doubt as TNT’s broadcast deal with the league expires following the 2024/25 season.

NBC is reportedly lining up a bid to take those rights, with the future of Shaq and his co-stars Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Ernie Johnson unclear.

“Humble enough to know I can be replaced, but wise enough to know ain’t nobody else like me,” Shaq wrote in a cryptic Instagram post on Monday.

The post racked up over 100,000 likes in just over 24 hours as fans debated its meaning in the comment section.

“Shaq can NOT be replaced. By anyone,” wrote one fan.

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

“Definitely nobody like Shaq. Someone needs to save Inside The NBA. The TNT crew is legendary,” added a third.

“NBC better sign yall asap to keep Inside the NBA going,” said a fourth.

NBC’s parent company Comcast reportedly has a $2.5 billion per year offer on the table to steal NBA rights away from TNT.

I’m gonna be on LinkedIn,’ says Charles Barkley as Inside the NBA star jokes about show’s future on live TV
Warner Bros. Discovery, the parent company of TNT, currently pays $1.2 billion per year.

Shaq’s absence on Sunday was reportedly due to him attending his daughter Me’arah’s graduation.

The 6-foot-4 star is forging her own path in basketball, deciding this year to play for the Florida Gators rather than her dad’s alma mater, LSU.

O’Neal, a four-time NBA champion, recently opened up on the possibility of the show ending.

“I don’t know [about the show’s future],” Shaq told the Daily Mail.

Inside the NBA’s future?

Inside the NBA’s run on TNT Sports is in doubt due to the NBA’s broadcasting deals.

The Emmy-winning sports show is a fan favorite thanks to the likes of Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley.

But TNT’s broadcast deal with the NBA is up after next season and NBC is lining up a bid to take those rights.

If TNT loses its NBA package, it raises questions over the popular Inside the NBA.

One solution could be to recreate the show on another network, which snaps up the NBA rights.

“Hopefully [Warner Bros. Discovery CEO] David Zaslav will take care of business, I’m sure he will.

“I think we’re in a great spot right now.”

“I wish I had any damn idea [where we’re going],” Shaq’s co-star Barkley told ESPN Chicago.

“We’re in the bidding war with NBC. They’ve already signed their package with ESPN, they’ve already signed their package with Amazon, and it’s down to one piece of the puzzle between us [TNT] and NBC.

“The last we’ve heard was around 2.5 billion, and we have zero idea what’s going to happen.

“We might lose it. I feel so bad for the people I work with.

“It’s brutal, it’s flat-out brutal, everybody’s scared to death.”

Shaq shared the quote with his 35 million Instagram followers on Monday
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Shaq shared the quote with his 35 million Instagram followers on MondayCredit: Instagram/Shaq

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