On Thursday night, the NBA on TNT crew revealed some unfortunate news.
Legendary host Ernie Johnson revealed why Shaquille O'Neal was missing from the broadcast. According to Johnson, O'Neal's sister passed away after a three-year battle with cancer.
Ayesha Harrison-Jex passed away on Thursday. She was 40-years-old.
"We have to tell you why you’re not seeing Shaquille O’Neal here on the set tonight," Johnson began. "Basically the ‘Big Fella,’ who I’ve described as ‘the biggest kid in the world,’ his heart is breaking tonight. He said his world revolves around his brother and two sisters. And he lost one of his sisters this morning."
Ernie, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and NBA commissioner Adam Silver offered their condolences to Shaq and his family.
Despite grieving for the loss of his sister, Shaq took a moment to thank the crew for their thoughts.
"Thanks for the condolences and the love. If I had older brothers, it would be you 3. Love y’all and love you more Candice," Shaq said on Twitter.
The NBA on TNT crew has been working together for years and is one of the closest in the business. That was clear on Thursday night.
Our thoughts are with Shaq and his family.