LeBron James, the king of Sin City?
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar is doubling down on his wish to own an NBA team in Las Vegas — this time making a plea directly to NBA commissioner Adam Silver.
“It’s the best fan base in the world,” said a smiling James of Las Vegas after the Lakers played a pre-season game against the Phoenix Suns in the city.
“I would love to bring a team here at some point, that would be amazing. I know Adam is in Abu Dhabi right now … but he probably sees every single interview and transcript that comes through from an NBA player, so I want the team here, Adam. Thank you.”
In June, James said he wanted to own an NBA team in Vegas in an episode of his Uninterrupted show, “The Shop.”
James said last season it was his goal to own a team “sooner rather than later,” and not only is he a billionaire, he’s also a partner at Fenway Sports Group — the holding parent company which owns the Boston Red Sox, Liverpool F.C. and most recently added the Pittsburgh Penguins to their portfolio.
The NHL’s recent expansion to both Seattle and Vegas has sparked rumours the NBA could follow suit, and though Adam Silver has called both cities “wonderful markets.”
Unfortunately for James, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports the NBA plans to renegotiate its television and CBA deals before looking at expansion. Wojnarowski added: “The possibilities of Las Vegas and Seattle as expansion candidates are real, but likely years away.”
Michael Jordan, of the Charlotte Hornets, is the only former NBA player who’s an owner of a team in the league. Shaquille O’Neal held a stake in the Sacramento Kings for several years, but sold it in January.
The most recent NBA team to sell was the Minnesota Timberwolves — for $1.5 billion in 2021. The Suns are currently for sale in the wake of owner Robert Sarver’s suspension for workplace misconduct.