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Welcome to "Shaq-ramento"

Bob Moffitt/Capital Public Radio

Bob Moffitt/Capital Public Radio

O'Neal's official introduction as a new minority owner came with an apology, "To all the passionate fans from Sacramento, I apologize for calling you 'queens.'"

Then there was a proclamation, "The new name of the town will be Shaqramento, the capitol of California."

And there was a promise to mentor talented but undisciplined center Demarcus Cousins, "We're going to build the team around Demarcus.  He needs to understand that when you're the leader, the others will follow when they see you set the perfect example."

Part of his job will be working to help complete a billion dollars worth of projects in downtown Sacramento.  That includes a new arena with a floor that might be visible to airplanes passing overhead.

"When I met with Vivek and he showed me the plans, it's like the stuff you see in movies," O'Neal said.  "He's designing an indoor/outdoor arena.  I know it sounds funny, but once you see the plans, it's crazy.”

He also promised to take what he learned from conversations with former coach Phil Jackson and share that wisdom with Cousins.

"He has what it takes to become an all-star.  He just has to, you know, tune it up. And, the good thing about me having a conversation with him is he knows that I know what I'm talking about,” said O’Neal.

O'Neal was a 15-time NBA All-Star and four-time NBA Champion.  

He says he approached the Kings' ownership group to become part of the team.

While he was with the Miami Heat, he partnered with 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov to build twenty 24 Hour Fitness franchises in South Florida.

Ranadive says a recent day of shooting hoops and conversations with O'Neal convinced the Kings' majority owner O'Neal would be a good fit for the ownership group.


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