At some point, probably soon after they retire, O'Neal and Hill, former Magic players who still make their permanent homes in a mega-money Orlando enclave, will talk with executives to see if the team is available.In basketball salaries alone, Hill has made $126 million and Shaq has earned $250 million (with another $20 million guaranteed for '09-10). Add in shoe contracts, Sprite ads and royalties from Blu-Ray sales of Shazam and Steel, and these loads are absolutely, magnificently loaded. They can be majority owners of an NBA team -- the Sonics sold for $350 million two years ago.
How serious? They have already talked about it together, a lot. They have already made their feelings known to CEO and president Bob Vander Weide, the son-in-law of owner Rich DeVos. They have, both report independently, already lined up additional investors. If DeVos is open to discussing a sale, Hill and O'Neal want to be first in line. If not, the partnership will consider other teams.
The Magic, however, have a new arena built with public funds, a fantastic roster and a strong fan base. Other teams figure to hit the market in a few years ... Memphis? Charlotte? Even New Orleans, if George Shinn wants to get out. Fans of whatever team the duo ends up buying might need to worry, though, based on this Shaq comment.
"I always try to ride Grant's coat tails. Hey, Grant's the president. He's better looking, better spoken and can do the president. But I can be the general manager. I can get stuff done."That can't possibly go wrong.