SHAQRAMENTO (CBS13) — Former Los Angeles Lakers All-Star center Shaquille O’Neal is now a minority owner of the Sacramento—sorry, Shaq-ramento Kings.
O’Neal renamed California’s capital city at a press conference announcing he was taking a stake in the team he once called the Sacramento Queens during his days with the Lakers.
“The new name of town will be called Shaqramento, the capital of California,” he said.
He apologized for the remark, saying he was trying to fire up Kings fans with it before the 2002 season.
“I actually knew what I was doing. And I know a lot of people took it personal so if I offended anyone, I apologize,” said O’Neal. “I just need to recognize the marketing expert that I am.”
Now the player that used to bring terror to Arco Arena is helping the Kings become a globally recognized game.
“We now have Dr. Shaquille O’Neal, arguably one of the most iconic names on the planet,” said Kings owner Vivek Ranadive.
O’Neal’s title may read part-owner, but he will act more as a mentor.
The four-time NBA champion’s first task is to ensure Kings starting center DeMarcus Cousins becomes the best big man in the league.
“When I see DeMarcus Cousins I see a young Shaquille O’Neal.” he said.
He hopes to mentor Cousins much the way that former Lakers and Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson mentored him.
“Before I met Phil I was all over the place I was making great movies such a Kazaam,” he said. “My job with DeMarcus is not going to be about teaching him moves. It’s about having conversations.”
Hall of famer and Kings consultant Chris Mullin is happy to finally be on the same team as O’Neal.
“A lot of opportunities thrown at him every day so I think it’s a big shot in the arm for the franchise and the city of Sacramento,” Mullin said.
He was once hated when wearing purple and gold, but now O’Neal is wearing a different shade of purple. He’s no longer the enemy, but part of the family.
“I love people in Shaqramento and I’ll be here a lot and if you see me come give me a hug or give me a kiss. I’ll do whatever you want,” O’Neal said.
- Shaq Makes Nice With Sacramento As New Kings Minority Owner (sacramento.cbslocal.com)