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Shaquille O’Neal buys share of NBA’s Kings

09.23.13 at 11:07 am ET
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Shaquille O’Neal frustrated the Kings when he was winning championships with the Lakers in the early 200s. Now he’s looking to lift the franchise to new heights.

The former NBA star and current TNT analyst has become a minority owner of the team and said he plans to meet with players and coaches in Sacramento.

“What interested me in this deal is the new vision, the new Kings, the new everything,” O’Neal told USA Today. “I’ve always wanted to be part of something like this. … It’s going to be great.”

The Kings, who thwarted attempts to move the franchise to Seattle in the past year, are looking to turn around its fortunes under a new ownership group led by software tycoon Vivek Ranadive and 24-Hour Fitness founder Mark Mastrov. The franchise recently was ranked last among 122 organizations in the four major North American sports.

“Worst is at the bottom, which means you can’t get no worser,” O’Neal said. “There’s no such thing as worser, which means we can only get better. And we will get better. Once that new arena comes, once that new downtown is up, once we have a conversation with the players and get everybody to step up, they’ll be knocking on the door.

“Hopefully Vivek, with Mr. Mastrov and myself and the team and organization can get it back to where it used to be. I’m telling you these new plans, oh my. You’re going to be like, ‘Sacramento is doing what?’ That’s what we want people to say.”

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