Although his legendary NBA career isn't over yet, LeBron James is already planning post-retirement moves — starting with owning the NBA's (potential) Las Vegas expansion franchise.
After the Lakers' 129-126 preseason victory over the Sacramento Kings on Monday night (which took place in Las Vegas), James — who has been vocal in the past about wanting to own an expansion team in Las Vegas if the NBA decides to add one there — was asked during a postgame press conference why he'd want to own a Vegas-based franchise.
"It just makes sense," James said. "Obviously, you have the Raiders [in Las Vegas]. You have the Knights here. You have the Aces here. You got F1 coming very soon. You know, all-star weekend has been there a few times. We have NBA Summer League that's very popular. Sports is, it's here. You know, I think adding an NBA franchise here would just add to the momentum that's going on in this town. It's an attraction. You don't have to worry about getting fan support or nothing like that. I think it's only right. I think it's only a matter of time."
LeBron James on why he wants to own the NBA?s potential expansion team in Las Vegas: pic.twitter.com/FjrCNlkxae
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) October 10, 2023
He has a point. In just a few years, Las Vegas has gone from having zero professional sports teams to being one of the sports capitals of the world. If (and when) the NBA does expand into more U.S. cities, Las Vegas is an obvious choice.
Yet, expansion isn't on the top of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver's to-do list — at least not yet. According to The Athletic, Silver wants to wait until after the NBA's renewal of a new media rights deal in 2025 is finalized before he pursues expansion. When that time comes, however, Silver noted that Las Vegas (along with Seattle) would be an ideal destination.
Once that happens, LeBron will have to compete with another NBA legend to acquire potential ownership rights for a Vegas NBA franchise. Earlier this week, NBA Hall of Famer and global icon Shaquille O'Neal told The Messenger that he, too, would like to own the NBA's Las Vegas expansion team.
"I would like to have my own group," O'Neal said. "I know Vegas hasn't been awarded an NBA team yet but if they ever get to a point where they are awarded a team, I would like to be a part of that. I don't want to partner up with nobody. I want it all for myself."
Considering Shaq doesn't want to partner up, it appears that even after each of their storied playing careers is over, he and LeBron James will still be competing. Let the games begin.
Want More Sports News?
Get the biggest and best sports news sent directly to your inbox.