Sam reports that Shaq will meet with players and coaches on Monday, and will have dinner with DeMarcus Cousins. Who he is calling his protegé.
O'Neal apparently met with Vivek Ranadivé and Mark Mastrov in late June to discuss a consultant role, in which Shaq would help mold Cousins. But things got deeper, and Team Vivek invited him into the ownership group. Shaq has a history with Mastrov, who developed 24-Hour Fitness; they partnered to build gyms in south Florida.
Apparently, Shaq also remains one of the most recognizable athletes in the world among the target NBA demographic. And he's on TNT every week. And -- this is a great one -- Vivek calls him "Dr. O'Neal." As in:
"The most iconic person on the planet was Dr. O'Neal. So Mark Mastrov is good friends with Dr. O'Neal, and Dr. O'Neal and I spent a day at my house shooting hoops, hanging out with my kids, and just talking about how to create the franchise of the 21st century.
"We talked about what the forces were that were shaping the 21st century, we talked about technology, we talked about new companies that we were looking at, and based on that we came to a conclusion that we could - what my (late) friend Steve Jobs likes to say - put a dent in the universe if Dr. O'Neal became my partner."
Is this life?