On Sept. 23, former Los Angeles Lakers center Shaquille O’Neal shocked players and fans throughout the NBA with his announcement of minority ownership of the Sacramento Kings.
This announcement came as a huge surprise to Kings and Lakers fans alike.
“I did not see it coming, it was very unexpected. If anything I would have assumed he would have invested in the Lakers or Heat — I didn’t expect it to be the Kings at all,” said Jerrel Green, Delta College Basketball center and a Lakers fan.
O’Neal, who famously once deemed the Kings the “Queens,” was a part of the Lakers franchise that famously eliminated the Kings from the playoffs in 2000, 2001 and 2002.
These last seven years have been increasingly difficult for the Kings and the team’s fans.
The Kings missed the playoffs in seven consecutive seasons under the Maloof family ownership.
Green feels that O’Neal will be a beneficial addition to the new Kings franchise.
“O’Neal won’t be the typical owner, since he played in the NBA for so many years I think he’ll have a huge say in the decision making process,” Green said.
“He’s not the type of owner who just wants to say he owns a sports team, I think he really wants to be more of a hands on owner.”
Some sports analysts have said that due to his many years of experience playing in the NBA, O’Neal will be able to offer insight to many of the young players.
One player specifically mentioned by fans and analysts alike is Kings center Demarcus Cousins.
The thought being that since O’Neal was one of basketball’s best centers, Cousins could learn much from him and potentially become a modern basketball great.