Somebody might want to check the temperature in hell – because I’m pretty sure it’s frozen over.
Yes, it’s true, one time Sacramento Kings nemesis Shaquille O’Neal is now part owner of the franchise, this after purchasing an unknown stake in the franchise.
O’Neal, who is good friends with fellow co-owner Mark Mastrov plans to meet with King players and coaches this evening before sitting down with DeMarcus Cousins for dinner, this according to Sam Amick:
His involvement will begin in earnest today, as O’Neal — who jokingly referred to himself as “Dr. O’Neal” throughout a phone interview with USA TODAY Sports — plans to meet with Kings players and coaches in Sacramento before having dinner with franchise centerpiece and new protégé DeMarcus Cousins.
Sacramento Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive had the following to say:
“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, the former Golden State Warriors minority owner who heads the group that bought the team for a league-record valuation of $535 million, told USA TODAY Sports. “The most iconic person on the planet was Dr. O’Neal. So Mark Mastrov is good friends with Dr. O’Neal, and 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.
“We talked about what the forces were that were shaping the 21st century, we talked about technology, we talked about new companies that we were looking at, and based on that we came to a conclusion that we could — what my (late) friend Steve Jobs likes to say — put a dent in the universe if Dr. O’Neal became my partner.”
While the Kings aren’t saying it, O’Neal seems more of an ‘image’ owner than an actual basketball decision making owner. Though, his inclusion should only help in the progression of DeMarcus Cousins, something O’Neal was obviously brought in for.