"I plan to help build the most dominant 2K franchise in history."
The Sacramento Kings have announced that Shaquille O'Neal will serve as the General Manager of Kings Guard Gaming, the Kings' eSports franchise that will compete with 16 other NBA franchises in an NBA 2K eSports League.
Shaq, who is also a minority owner of the Sacramento Kings, says he plans to build the most dominant 2K franchise in history, though it's unclear what role he'll have in actually selecting the roster of players.
"I'm looking forward to my role with Kings Guard," O'Neal said in the team's official press release. "Just like I dominated the hardwood, music industry, showbiz, nicknames and broadcasting, I plan to help build the most dominant 2K franchise in history."
According to NBC Bay Area, Kings Guard will have the fourth pick in the upcoming draft on April 4. The team will consist of a six-person roster that will move to Sacramento where the Kings have built a state of the art eSports training facility and gaming studio inside Golden 1 Center.
"Kings Guard draft preparation began as the NBA 2K League finished its combine in January. To assist with the first-ever 2K League draft, the team has incorporated artificial intelligence and other innovations that examine player data sets, support from Sacramento Kings VP of Strategy and Analytics Luke Bornn, and additional basketball council from Shaq and gaming experts. In the coming weeks, Kings Guard will announce additional performance and human optimization staff who will support the team's growth and development."
The league's 16-week season will begin in May. In total, 17 NBA franchises are participating in the league, which includes the draft later this week. Each of those franchises will run their own 6-person Esports team to represent them in the 2K League.