GO
Loading...

Shaquille O'Neal joins the Sacramento Kings owner's box

Known for dominating on the basketball court, Shaquille O'Neal is now giving basketball ownership a shot.

The four-time MVP—who dashed the Sacramento Kings' championship hopes for three straight years and once famously referred to the team as the Sacramento "Queens" —has purchased a minority stake in the franchise.

"There is a new vision in Sacramento," O'Neal said, "A vision to turn the Kings into a 21st century team. The revitalization is going to be tremendous."

O'Neal will join an all-star ownership team that includes TIBCO chairman and CEO Vivek Ranadive. The ownership group bought a 65% stake in the team in May, in a deal that valued the Kings at a league record $535 million. O'Neal declined to elaborate on the size of his ownership stake.

"I'm just glad to have the opportunity to be with some great business minds," O'Neal said, adding that fans can expect technology to play a big role in the team's transformation. "We want to become the first cashless arena."

When asked about his past "Queens" reference, O'Neal told "Squawk on the Street" that "I just wanted to egg on the fans a little bit. With what we're doing in Sacramento now, they will forgive us."

Shaquille O'Neal attends 'Wake Up Call' to kick off the back to school season at Foley Square on August 1, 2013 in New York City.
Slaven Vlasic | Getty Images
Shaquille O'Neal attends 'Wake Up Call' to kick off the back to school season at Foley Square on August 1, 2013 in New York City.

On the court, the Kings have their work cut out for them. After finishing 13th in the Western Conference at 28-54 and recently being named the "Worst Franchise in Sports" by ESPN, change likely won't come easy.

"We believe that it's a process and the turnaround will come soon," said Ranadive, the Kings majority owner.

Shaq won't just be sitting in the owner's box, he says he plans to spend time on the court talking with and mentoring the players.

"I remember when I was a young player and didn't know how to win. I had a conversation with the great Phil Jackson who told me how to be a winner and a leader. That's the same conversation I'm going to have," he said.

— By CNBC's Jessica Golden

Contact Sports

  • CNBC NEWSLETTERS

    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More