Shaquille O’Neal Wants to Be the Nets’ GM

by Marcel Mutoni / @marcel_mutoni

Shaq, a New Jersey native, has never made his fondness for the hometown squad a secret. Last season, he even said he’d consider playing for them.

Since O’Neal eventually ended up in Boston, he says now that he’d settle for a management gig within the organization once his playing days come to an end.

Shaq has a plan in mind: it includes keeping the team in Newark (sorry, Brooklyn), and calling his would-be boss “the beautiful Russian guy”. has the story:

The Nets will play in Newark for at least two seasons as the projected opening of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn is 2012. But Shaq, 38, offered to help broker a deal to keep the Nets in Prudential Center and to run the team when he stops playing.

“I would have liked to see the new owner get with the guy who built the arena and keep the Nets there,” O’Neal said during an exclusive phone interview. “I don’t want to see the team go to Brooklyn. Maybe the two heads can get together, they can do that and I can come down there and become general manager. I think the owner, the beautiful Russian guy, should get with the people of the arena and the other people and me and we should get it done.”

“We got a great owner, a great arena, let’s keep it where it’s at,” O’Neal said. “Not only that, I’m saving the owner money so he doesn’t have to pay another $300 million to build this new arena in Brooklyn. I know he has it. Hopefully he’ll stay and hopefully he’ll make me general manager because I will be available in 745 days.”

Despite Shaquille O’Neal’s plan (to say nothing of his compliments) Mikhail Prokhorov doesn’t sound very convinced. The Nets’ owner says he fully intends to move the team to Brooklyn once their new arena is fully constructed.

Don’t fret, however, Shaq. Prokhorov had this to say about your candidacy for a job within the org.: “Regarding the gracious offer to become general manager, Shaq is always welcome to send his resume to Billy King.”