Turner Sports Analysts Reflect on the Legacies of Colleagues Shaquille O’Neal & David Aldridge Ahead of Tomorrow’s 2016 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony

Ceremony Televised Exclusively on NBA TV, Tomorrow, Sept. 9, at 7:30 p.m. ET

A collection of NBA on TNT and NBA TV analysts including Inside the NBA’s Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Ernie Johnson, along with Hall of Famers Reggie Miller and Isiah Thomas, offer their thoughts on the careers of Turner Sports colleagues, 2016 Hall of Fame inductee Shaquille O’Neal and Curt Gowdy Media Award recipient David Aldridge. Friday’s enshrinement ceremony will air exclusively on NBA TV at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Charles Barkley on O’Neal and Aldridge: “It’s been an honor and a privilege to play against Shaquille and work alongside both him and David. Congratulations to them for all they’ve accomplished throughout their careers.  They are very deserving of this honor and I love them both.”

Kenny Smith on O’Neal: “Congratulations to one of the dominant players that has ever graced the court and one of the most dominant philanthropists in the NBA.”

Smith on Aldridge: “Congratulations to David Aldridge who is truly an NBA insider that always ‘knows’ before we know.”

Ernie Johnson on O’Neal: “Shaq was a phenomenon.  He came into the league with this ridiculous skill set of size, strength and agility combined with a magnetic personality and was simply a marvel to watch.”

Johnson on Aldridge: “David Aldridge is a pro's pro. 'Nuff said.”

Reggie Miller on O’Neal: “Congrats Big Fella, one of the best to ever do it. I loved our battles dating back to your Orlando Magic days to when you crushed my dreams in the 2000 Finals by dominating my Pacers. Please enjoy this moment and I better see some BIG Shaq Fu tears as you give your speech.”

Miller on Aldridge: “To the hardest working man in the business, this is well deserved and long overdue. Congratulations and thank you for always listening and giving me advice on how the NBA works. Honored to call you a true friend.”

Isiah Thomas on O’Neal: “Larger than life in every aspect, Shaq changed the game on the floor and impacted lives off of it. He dominated in every sense of the word, bringing both a physicality and personality the game had never seen and will likely never see again. Congratulations to a legend, a winner and a true original. It is an honor to escort you into the Hall of Fame.”

Thomas on Aldridge: “One of the hardest working journalists in sports – a pioneer, a Hall of Fame friend and a Hall of Fame mentor to so many of us. Congratulations.”

Chris Webber on O’Neal: "Congrats Shaq on the Hall of Fame. Your dominance and entertaining spirit on the court took the game of basketball to new heights for everyone.  I’m proud to have competed against you."

Webber on Aldridge: “Thank you for promoting the game while protecting the integrity of the game. You’re a journalist for the fans and the players. Congratulations.”

Greg Anthony on O’Neal: “Shaq was someone who played the game as well as it could be played but also brought a larger than life personality and a joy to the floor that separated him from everyone else.”

Anthony on Aldridge: “D.A. is simply class personified.  I don't think there has ever been a person in his profession that was as universally liked and respected.  His passion for our game has and always will be appreciated.”

Brent Barry on O’Neal: “Coaches game plan for everything the game might possibly offer up, until you have something you can't conceivably plan for – I offer up one Shaquille O'Neal.  One of the most unique and gifted players and persons that has graced the NBA floor, Shaq shook rims and took names. But what still resonates with me is how much Shaq has loved being Shaq. He spread fear on floors and joy in homes and now finds his rightful place among the greatest to have ever played. A center of attention in the best way possible.”

Barry on Aldridge: “Reverence is not a word that most athletes associate with many members in the media, yet somehow David Aldridge receives it in spades. From his days at American University he has covered most all of what American sports has to offer. But amongst the NBA circles it is his authenticity and sensitivity that most people gravitate towards. In a world where style gets more attention than substance, D.A. still has the unique ability to display both with class.”

Dennis Scott on former Orlando Magic teammate O’Neal: “I never would have thought that I could call a Hall of Famer my best friend.”

Scott on Aldridge: “The game of basketball brings all of us together for different reasons and David Aldridge is someone I have known for a long time. Much respect to him.  David Aldridge is a man that takes his craft seriously and that’s why he’s going into the Hall of Fame.”

Steve Smith on O’Neal: “He was something we’ve never seen before; athletic, versatile, could handle the basketball and displayed sheer dominance through force.  Shaq had the willingness to play with force and win games.  He made the people around him better. Who wouldn’t want to play with a guy that drew a double team, with the third and fourth defenders keeping their foot in the paint?  He should go down as one of the best centers ever and we may not see a center like him ever again.”

Stu Jackson on O’Neal: “A heartfelt congratulations to Diesel, one of the most creative flagrant foul artists of all time. Shaq is a deserving Hall of Famer and undoubtedly one of the greatest centers in the history of the sport. But it is his larger-than-life personality and his commitment to social responsibility that separates his greatness.”

Jackson on Aldridge: “Congratulations to David entering the Hall of Fame, a much deserved honor! Having an opportunity to work with you and see first-hand the commitment and thoroughness in your reporting and doing so with the integrity that matches your persona has been extraordinary.”

Marv Albert on O’Neal: “Aside from establishing himself as one of the greatest and most dominating players of all-time, Shaq's sense of humor and gracious personality have added to his aura.  He would take over a game and, at the same time, put a smile on your face.  As well-known as Shaq was during his 19-year All-Star career he's even more popular and recognizable since he left the game.  We all look forward to what figures to be a unique acceptance speech up in Springfield.”

Albert on Aldridge: “David has the unique ability to be outstanding as both a writer and broadcaster.  He is so trusted by the people he deals with on an everyday basis – be it general managers, coaches or players – which has led to pure credibility in both print and on-air.  He is truly a Hall of Famer.”

Kevin Harlan on O’Neal: “The most physically intimidating presence I’ve ever watched - in any sport.  He changed the game.  Unstoppable.  Incredibly skilled.  A winner.  One of a kind.  And a heart that’s as big as his Hall of Fame career.”

Harlan on Aldridge: “He has set the bar so high with his impeccable professionalism, his skill with words and stories.  His reporting and feel make him one of the best to cover the game.  I’m in awe of his work ethic every Thursday night when we share the TNT microphone.  David has an attention to detail that should serve as a guide for all of us.  Not just a great professional – he’s also a friend and a devoted husband and father – he’s everything that people in this business should aspire to be.”

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