Basketball legend and former NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal, renowned not only for his on-court dominance but also for his burgeoning business empire, has expressed his interest in re-entering the NBA ownership realm while eyeing Formula 1.
In an interview with Bloomberg at the iConnections Global Alts conference held in Miami Beach, O’Neal, who stands as one of the world’s wealthiest Black individuals, revealed his aspirations to acquire an NBA team and expand his presence in the ever-evolving sports landscape.
Responding to questions about his intentions regarding NBA team ownership, the former minority owner of the Sacramento Kings expressed interest, stating, “I would definitely like to… Yes, whatever team is available.”
O’Neal’s bold move: Exiting Sacramento Kings and navigating the sports gambling landscape
This comes in the wake of O’Neal’s decision to divest his stakes in the Sacramento Kings in January 2022, citing NBA ownership regulations, as he shifted his focus towards ventures in the sports gambling sector — as a brand ambassador for WynnBET. He has previously articulated his ambition to assume a majority ownership role in an NBA franchise in his next endeavor.
O’Neal’s announcement coincides with the recent sale of controlling interest in the Charlotte Hornets by basketball icon Michael Jordan, marking the conclusion of his decade-long stewardship over the franchise. The transaction, valued at $3 billion, propelled Jordan’s net worth to $3.5 billion, solidifying his status among the world’s wealthiest Black billionaires.
From Houston to Michigan: O’Neal’s Big Chicken spreads wings with 20 new locations
Undeterred by the nature of the sports business landscape, O’Neal remains steadfast in his commitment to expanding his business portfolio. Notably, his restaurant venture, Big Chicken, unveiled plans in October 2023 for a strategic partnership with H&D Group Investments to establish 20 new locations across Michigan.
The expansion follows the successful launch of Big Chicken in Houston in June 2023, where the inaugural outlet on Westheimer Blvd. drew such massive crowds that intervention from the fire marshal was necessitated.
As O’Neal continues to make waves both on and off the court, his latest aspirations underscore his enduring influence and ambition in shaping the sports and business landscape.