Sacramento Kings owners Vivek Ranadivé and Shaquille O’Neal will be addressing the media prior to tonight’s regular season opener against the Denver Nuggets. Follow this thread for live updates from this afternoon’s press conference.
REFRESH FOR UPDATES
4:21 pm: Shaq and Vivek have arrived. Mark Mastrov’s wife is seated right behind me, James Ham and Rob McAllister here on the second row of the press room.
4:25 pm: Vivek offering an update on NBA 3.0. Says he spent time with several politicians today talking about (California Govenror Jerry Brown among them). Three vectors to NBA 3.0 – technology, globalization and sports as agent of good in the community.
4:27 pm: Tonight’s Kings game will be broadcast 7:30 am in India says Vivek. Breakfast with the Kings if you’re in Mumbai.
4:28 pm: Vivek says that he told the NBA’s Board of Governors that the Kings will move into their new arena on October of 2016. That’s been the target date from the start.
4:29 pm: Shaquille O’Neal taking the mic now. ”What I’ve always enjoyed about Sacramento is the fanbase,” says Shaq. He also mentions that he’s been having lots of conversations with DeMarcus Cousins and calls the Kings center “misunderstood”.
4:31 pm: Shaq likes the fact that the Kings have a lot of NBA experience in the organization. Points out that ex-NBAers Mitch Richmond, Chris Mullin and Dee Brown are part of the organization.
4:32 pm: “Actually before I made the queens comments, I was (scared to play here).” Shaq once again apologizing for calling the Kings, “Queens” almost a decade ago. Will he always have to apologize every time he comes to town?
4:35 pm: Vivek and Shaq are teaming up to start an investment fund in “3.0 companies”. The first investment will be made to a company in Estonia that’s focused on helping sales people. Their technology will be featured in the brand new Sacramento Kings app. ”Here you have a big black guy, a skinny India guy and we’re investing in a country in Estonia,” said Vivek. ”I love globalization it’s great.”
4:38 pm: The Kings will be releasing their brand new mobile app here in the next few hours. Vivek’s son, Andre Ranadivé is doing the presentation on the new app.
4:40 pm: The new Kings app will allow fans to upgrade their seats even after they arrive It also features a digital cowbell. Where is Will Ferrell to perform a demonstration?
4:43 pm: Here’s a demonstration of the digital cowbell featured in the new Kings app.
4:46 pm: Shaq with a Mateen Cleeves shoutout because he was asked how far the Kings are from being relevant again like they were last year. He said “It’s similar in personnel.” He suggested that this year’s group just needs to just to build chemistry.
4:48 pm: I’ll let James’ tweet cover this next update…
.@SHAQ reiterating what he said on TNT last night – he believes that the Kings can make the playoffs.
— James Ham (@James_Ham) October 30, 2013
4:50 pm: Vivek is asked a question by a few members of the media visiting from India. He is asked about how he plans to expand the basketball in his home country. Vivek says that he doesn’t expect basketball to surpass cricket (the country’s favorite sport), but he hopes to make it a strong No. 2.
4:55 pm: Vivek on his expectations of basketball’s growth in India: “In the next five years, I would be very surprised if there isn’t an Indian player in the NBA.”
4:56 pm: And that’s it. Now Shaq and Vivek are off to play some cricket.