Shaquille O’Neal believes Tom Brady deserves every penny of his $375 million deal with Fox Sports.
On Thursday’s episode of his show, “The Big Podcast with Shaq,” the NBA legend, 50, discussed Brady’s broadcasting future with his co-hosts, Nischelle Turner and Spice Adams – notably the 10-year deal worth nine figures upon his NFL retirement. O’Neal then made it clear that anyone scoffing at Brady’s payday is a “hater.”
“When it comes to greatness of this kind, if you lend any anger, you’re a hater,” O’Neal said, according to Mediaite. “Everybody can’t and ain’t gonna get this money. Seven Super Bowls. Clean cut. Good looking. Speaks well. He deserves all the money. Whoever says he don’t deserve this money, shut your face.”
Fox Sports confirmed Tuesday that Brady, 44, would slide into the booth once he decides to hang up his cleats for good. The seven-time Super Bowl champ briefly stepped away from the game in February, before coming out of retirement 40 days later to rejoin the Buccaneers.
“Excited, but a lot of unfinished business on the field with the @Buccaneers #LFG,” Brady tweeted Tuesday.
The Post’s Andrew Marchand first reported Tuesday that Brady’s deal with Fox Sports would net him nearly $40 million a year. Once he does retire from the NFL, Brady will join Kevin Burkhardt in the booth.
Although it remains to be seen when Brady will make his broadcasting debut, fellow quarterback-turned-analyst Kurt Warner noted there could be some challenges ahead.
“You go from being great at something to wondering if you’re ever going to be good at anything else,” Warner recently told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “You have to fight that battle just like anybody else does that goes from one job to another. You have to build your confidence up and figure out who you want to be.”
Warner, who currently appears on NFL Network, added that it could also be a tricky task when it comes to toeing a critical line.
“That’s one of the challenges as you get into television: What am I going to be as an analyst?” he said. “One of the hardest things is, when you’re a guy like Tom Brady that everybody likes and you want to be liked by people, and you have to figure out how to truly analyze and be critical of what’s going on but not be critical of people.”
In the meantime, Brady is focusing on his 23rd NFL season, which kicks off Sunday, Sept. 11, in a Week 1 road game against the Cowboys.