Saving the craziest for last, the Sacramento Kings‘ new owner is … Shaquille O’Neal? Yes, the guy who once called the team the “Queens” when he was on the rival Los Angeles Lakers. And O’Neal was in midseason form at his first press conference:
O’Neal praised the proposed downtown arena as a massive job creator that would put Sacramento on the map. He said the facility would be the world’s “first cash-less arena,” where fans would be able to use their smart phones to buy tickets, find the concession stands and even “the bathrooms with the smallest lines.
“As long as you’ve got a phone, you can get in,” he said. “It’s all 21st-century stuff.”
Actually, the San Francisco 49ers are already doing that bathroom line phone app thing, so it’ll almost certainly make it to other NBA arenas before Sacramento’s, but hey, you go tell Shaq that he’s wrong.
Meanwhile, Kings majority owner Vivek Ranadive has his own hype machine going full blast, promising a new era for the NBA by putting games on TV in his native India (“There’s a billion people in India – there’s going to be a lot of people watching”), and saying the new building will “be the first basketball arena that has this indoor-outoor feature to it. For concerts and other events, you could actually completely open it up and have 18,000 people inside and another 10,000 people outside.” Yet another part-owner, Mark Mastrov, told the Sacramento Bee that this could involve sliding glass walls to allow people outside to peer in, or maybe giant TV screens outside, or god knows, since the designs aren’t finalized. But whatever, it’s going to be big. You know, like Shaq.