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Shaq buys in, he is minority owner of Sacramento Kings

Sep 23, 2013, 11:33 AM EDT

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Few players ever tormented the Kings like Shaquille O’Neal. He was the face of the Lakers in 2002 when the Kings had the second-best team in the NBA but just could not get past Shaq and Los Angeles. For years as that rivalry built, Shaq enjoyed taking some shots at Sacramento.

Now, he owns a piece of the team.

After meetings with new Kings owner Vivek Ranadive and others in the organization, Shaq — the future Hall of Fame player and current TNT analyst — has purchased a minority interest in the team, something first reported Sam Amick at the USA Today and later confirmed by the team.

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.

“What interested me in this deal is the new vision, the new Kings, the new everything,” said O’Neal, who so famously deemed the Kings the “Queens” at the start of the 2002-03 season. “I’ve always wanted to be part of something like this. … It’s going to be great.”

Welcome to the world of business, where the old allegiances of fans get whitewashed in money. And Shaq certainly has the money.

And the Kings will take him and his dollars, especially if he can help get through to Cousins.

As we told you, Sacramento’s fans and new ownership took exception to ESPN the Magazine ranking them the worst franchise in all of sports. It’s hard to argue that under the Maloofs they may well have been the worst run franchise.

Now Sacramento wants credit for the change in ownership and focus — moves like bringing in O’Neal as an owner. It’s what Aaron Bruski suggested in his PBT piece about the Kings reaction to ESPN.

My thought: Prove it. So far you’ve made nice moves, you brought in a respected GM and new coach, you’ve continued to move forward on your new arena. Those are good baby steps, the first ones you need to take. But respectability is earned with smart moves made over a length of time and the Kings have yet to do that. They might well get there, I hope they do, but the kind of respect they want is earned not given. So earn it first.

Getting Shaq on board, that’s another nice small step in the right direction.

  1. Stadium Collectors - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    Shaq earned a doctorate degree in education in 2012, so referring to himself as “Dr. O’Neal” is accurate

  2. spursareold - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    DMC’s issues aren’t skill related. He’s a 12 year old, and Shaq can’t help with that, being one himself.

    • fanofthegame79 - Sep 23, 2013 at 8:13 PM

      Your post proves you wrong: if Shaq is a 12-year-old, he would be the perfect mentor to another 12-year-old, saying as he’s been so successful on and off the court. He has a scoring title, league MVP, Finals MVPs, Championships, multiple degrees…the list could go on.

  3. wheels579 - Sep 23, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Julius Erving is doctor of nothing, yet everyone calls him “Dr. J”. Shaq earned a doctorate in Education, and it becomes a joke when he refers to himself as Dr. O’Neal. The real joke is Sam Amick and USA Today. Shaq worked hard for that title, and that is no joke.

  4. kingwithringz - Sep 23, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    Fun Fact: Shaq has three college degrees.

    • senorpapino - Sep 23, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      Fun Fact 2: Shaq is about as intelligent as a middle school dropout.

      • emosnar - Sep 23, 2013 at 2:41 PM

        Fun Fact 3: Some people in positions of “power” (like writers) can be so arrogant, aloof, out of touch with reality and love to take snipes at winners to make themselves feel better and relevant when they go home at night.

        Keep killin’ em’ DR. O’Neal.!

        Keep laughing at the weak, sheep and ill-informed.

      • fanofthegame79 - Sep 23, 2013 at 8:14 PM

        That’s just crazy talk.

  5. wsuperman4445 - Sep 23, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    This is clearly a marketing move, if anyone believes that Shaq’s 00.3% ( or less) interest will amount to anything significant is sadly mistaken. here is my take on it. like Shaq, Jay Z’s minority stake was used by the REAL owners to market the nets and drive a fan base. after this was done, and Jay Z realized how little influence he had after the season began. why do you think he was so willing to sell his stake in the team shortly there after? but it did allot for his net worth or really perceived net worth to say “I owned a basket ball team” on his resume. remember Usher and the Cleveland cavaliers? same thing. Shaq is with the Kings to mentor and coach Cousins plain and simple. Using the “ownership route just adds to his statue in lue of money or significant amounts of money to do what Hakeem is doing with Dwight Howard.. they see Cousins as a Raw Shaq in terms of his dominance, so what better person to train him than Shaq..

    • jimeejohnson - Sep 23, 2013 at 7:13 PM

      Can’t get a better tutor than Shaq except for free throw shooting. Shaq couldn’t free throw shoot his way out of a paper bag most nights. Still love the gargantuan, smart guy.

    • 1heatedtoombrayduh - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:43 AM

      Jay Z actually sold his share because he is now a sports agent; he was not allowed to own part of a team AND represent a player in the NBA they call that “conflicts of interest” besides Jay z is the reason the nets changed the colors to black and white and i believe he had some leverage or an idea to move to brooklyn you know, where he is from..coincidence? i think not..

      btw im in NO way a jayz fan

      • wsuperman4445 - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:49 PM

        @ 1heated… like any marriage you wouldn’t be looking at other women, if things were good at home hence Jay z explored other options because things were not as he had hoped while Minority owner.. choosing the nets uniforms I will give him that ( 0.003% influence) choosing Brooklyn? that was in the works way before He Jay z came on board… that “not allowed to own part of a team and represent a player in the NBA I am sure he knew that before making his choice but.. got to protect that 0.003 % worth or.. someone else might not by that interest in the NETs for the very reason he was letting it go..

  6. badintent - Sep 23, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    Shaq will be shoving this down Charles’s throat every night they are one TNT.Any Kob’s when he covers Laker games..We will get to see Hoopz carry Shaq on her back again.Too bad Shaq can carry the Kings on his.

  7. hatesycophants - Sep 24, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    Would you take a few moments to explain what “adds to his statue” means?

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