O’Neal, who feasted on the Kings’ as a player, will join the Vivek Ranadive’s ownership group as a minority owner.
During his eight seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, O’Neal enjoyed great success against the Sacramento “Quenns” as O’Neal generally referred to them as. He averaged 28.6 points, 12.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.1 blocks per game in 26 regular-season contests against the Kings, leading L.A. to a 17-9 record against their in-state rivals. O’Neal raised his play during the teams’ three postseason encounters – averaging over 30 points, 16 caroms and three blocks – as the Lakers went 11-5 in the 16 matchups, and ended the Kings' season three years in a row.
O'Neal joins Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Jay Z, Justin Timberlake, Will Smith and Peyton Manning as high-profile athletes/entertainers to become members of an NBA team's ownership group.
O’Neal planned to get right into the fray as he was scheduled to meet with Kings’ players and coaches in Sacramento today and then have dinner with franchise centerpiece DeMarcus Cousins according to Sam Amick of USA Today Sports.
Ranadive, a former Golden State Warriors minority owner who heads the group that bought the Kings for a league-record valuation of $535 million in May, told USA TODAY Sports the reason he chose O’Neal as part of his new regime was "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."
O’Neal will be officially introduced at a news conference in Sacramento on Sept.24.
As a player, O’Neal was a15-time All-Star, four-time NBA champion and 2000 NBA MVP. He also played for the Orlando Magic, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics during his 19-year career.
The 41-year old spent the last two seasons as a TNT analyst.