Sacramento Kings add Shaquille O'Neal as minority owner
New ownership hopes to make a splash with adding former the former NBA star and TNT analyst.
The Sacramento Kings are eager to change their look, and their front office just got a lot bigger. Literally.
The team announced Monday that Shaquille O'Neal has bought a stake in the franchise. He will be introducted in a press conference at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
O'Neal, who bullied the Kings as a member of the Lakers, said that he's excited to be a part of something new in Sacramento.
"What interested me in this deal is the new vision, the new Kings, the new everything," O'Neal told USA Today's Sam Amick. "I've always wanted to be part of something like this. ... It's going to be great."
The Kings franchise has experienced some recent turmoil, but the purchase of the team in May by Vivek Ranadive is expected to turn the tide. The addition of Shaq -- or Dr. O'Neal, as he is apparently now calling himself -- Vivek hopes, will be another step towards creating a franchise to survive in what he refers to as the "NBA 3.0."
"I wanted to find somebody to add to the ownership group who truly represented 21st century basketball, who represented my vision of NBA 3.0, which is having an understanding of technology, wanting to build a global brand and being global in their thinking, and really being committed to having an impact in the community," Ranadive told USA Today. "The most iconic person on the planet was Dr. O'Neal. ... Dr. O'Neal and I spent a day at my house shooting hoops, hanging out with my kids, and just talking about how to create the franchise of the 21st century."
Initially, Shaq was to come on board to mentor center DeMarcus Cousins, but that role has apparently grown. O'Neal and Cousins are supposed to have dinner Monday in Sacramento, according to the report.
And while he acknowledged his former differences with the Kings -- whom he once called the "Queens" -- O'Neal says that Monday marks the dawn of a new age.
"But right now, [the Kings are] down, and they have new ownership, and we're going to bring it back up," he said. "It's going to be beautiful. It's going to be a destination place that people want to see."
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