Rap artist manager. Cattle herder + Wrangler Jeans spokesman. Competitive food eater. Wal-Mart greeter. Even an SNL cast member. We’ve given Shaquille O’Neal plenty of outlets to venture into now that he’s retired from the NBA for good. He has his law enforcement engagements, plus his gig teaming up with Charles Barkley to create the best sports-themed show on television. He’s released rap albums. He’s starred in movies, and in major celebrity breakups (Shaq/Kobe). Yet he’s not finished trying to conquer the world.
In an interview with the New York Times, O’Neal admits he wants to one day own a team, and hopefully bring them to Newark, New Jersey.
When asked about those prospects, O’Neal said: “Yes. And I’m looking forward to bringing a team to Newark. I haven’t spoken to Mayor Booker about it yet, but I’m working on it. I know Newark can support an N.B.A. team. And I’m going to be one of the guys that’s going to bring a team there.”ã€€
Could it work? Shaq’s stature as one of the greatest players ever, as well as one of its largest personalities (he earned nearly $300 million as a player, and that doesn’t count his other ventures), has me convinced that he will one day make good on this promise (the first half… I doubt anyone is bringing an NBA team full-time to Newark anytime soon). We’ve seen Michael Jordan do it as a majority owner with Charlotte, and although his time there has been somewhere between awful and passable, at least the door is knocked down.
Could O’Neal do big things as an owner? We all thought MJ could, and he turned out to be pretty average. Diesel always knew the game – he forever preached about playing the right way, even if his main reasoning was probably to get himself more touches and Kobe less – and he knows how to work the media, create excitement and draw viewers. Basketball-wise, he might have a lot to learn. But he would probably have no problem generating interest.
Would he be a better exec than Michael Jordan?
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