It’s Time For The “Shaqramento” Kings Era: Shaquille O’Neal Buys Into The Sacramento Kings
Shaquille O’Neal once called the Sacramento Kings the “Sacramento Queens.” The comment was made in the heat of a battle after a tense seven-game Western Conference finals in 2002 when O’Neal was playing for the LA Lakers. Now the former baller and current commentator has become part owner of the Kings.
O’Neal has teamed up with majority owner Vivek Ranadive, founder of 24 Hour Fitness on the deal. Ranadive purchased the team for more than $530 million in May. After which Ranadive tapped O’Neal to help the team, considered the current worst in the sport.
“O’Neal has been consulting with the Kings since the summer, when Ranadive asked him to mentor young big man DeMarcus Cousins,” reports ESPN.
The two men are long time friends and business partners (O’Neal partnered with Ranadive on various 24 Hour Fitness locations). They have already announced their plans to turn the struggling basketball franchise around. The Kings say it plans to build around DeMarcus Cousins, a 23-year-old center whose success on the court has been hampered by fouls and suspensions.
Other changes will focus on the situation around the team, such as a groundbreaking new arena. “We’re going to be the first cashless arena,” O’Neal told ESPN. “Come in with your phone, you know where your seats are, you know where the bathrooms are, the best concessions. … We’re going to have the best arena in the world.”
Do you think O’Neal can do for the Sacramento Kings what Jay Z did for the Brooklyn Nets?