NBA Hall of Famer and four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal doesn’t walk away from competition, but the big man did just that when it came to buying the Phoenix Suns.
The former Los Angeles Lakers center said on the latest episode of his podcast, The Big Podcast With Shaq, that he was thinking about purchasing the NBA franchise, which is being sold by minority owner Robert Sarver until former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos threw his hat into the ring.
“I was open [to the idea of purchasing the team] until I saw the initials JB. Let me tell you something, you don’t mess with James Brown, you don’t mess with Jeff Bezos,” Shaq said on his podcast. “When the boys come on stage, get your a** and go. So, Jeff said he wants it and a couple of other heavy hitters said they want it. I’m not even gonna put my name in the bucket on this one.”
Sarver is selling the Suns due to backlash from NBA players and sports media in general amid a one-year suspension and $10 million fine after an investigation into the team found Sarver used the N-word at least five times “when recounting the statement of others” as well as “instances of inequitable conduct toward female employees,” including “sex-related comments” and other inappropriate comments concerning the appearance of Suns employees.
According to Sports Illustrated, frontrunners to buy the 30% stake of the Suns that Sarver owns include former Disney CEO Bob Iger, Tesla Founder Elon Musk, former Oracle Founder Larry Ellison, and Washington Wizards CEO, Laurene Jobs.
According to Entrepreneur, O’Neal has an impressive business portfolio valued at more than $100 million, and owns franchises of Krispy Kreme, Auntie Anne’s and Papa Johns’ Pizza. The Hall of Famer also endorses a litany of products including The General Insurance, Buick Automobiles and more.
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