Las Vegas and LeBron James seems like a match made in heaven and the Laker star’s recent comments suggest he has his eye on owning an NBA expansion team in Sin City.
“It just makes sense. Obviously, you have the Raiders here, the [Golden] Knights here, the Aces here, you got F1 coming very soon. ”, James said to reporters following a 129-126 preseason victory over the Brooklyn Nets.
Commissioner Adam Silver has already expressed his interest in expansion following the renewal of a new media rights deal in 2025, per Mike Vorkunov of The Athletic, and Las Vegas has already been reported to be at the top of the list should the NBA move forward with it.
Silver’s recent innovations such as the Play-In Tournament, In-Season Tournament and hosting NBA games overseas are all part of a larger effort to make the NBA the powerhouse of the sporting world. Bringing an NBA franchise to one of the most famous cities in the world falls right in line with this strategy.
James is one of the most popular athletes in the world, and his involvement in a new expansion team will bring a tremendous level of excitement to both the team and the NBA. His stardom will also have investors lining up for the chance to invest in a Las Vegas NBA franchise.
Silver would be smart to delay expansion until he’s certain that James can be a part of that ownership group, and James has already been tied to a Las Vegas expansion team before, per Howard Beck for GQ.
Obviously, James can’t be a part-owner of an NBA franchise while he’s still playing, and given his current level of play, it’s hard to know when he’ll actually hang it up for good. But all good things come to an end, and James is most certainly in the twilight of his illustrious NBA career.
With Las Vegas already home to the Raiders (NFL), Golden Knights (NHL), Aces (WNBA), and reportedly soon Athletics (MLB), the NBA appears to be the missing piece to the Las Vegas sports franchise puzzle.
“I think it’s only a matter of time, and I hope I’m a part of that time.”, James concluded with a smile on his face.