LeBron James sets sights on Las Vegas NBA expansion

LeBron James made his intentions clear Wednesday night– he wants to own an NBA franchise in Las Vegas. 

Following the Los Angeles Lakers 119-115 preseason loss to the Phoenix Suns at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, James directly lobbied NBA commissioner Adam Silver to bring a team to the desert. 

“It’s the best fanbase in the world and I would love to bring a team here at some point,” James said after the game when asked about playing in Las Vegas. “That would be amazing. I know Adam [Silver] is in Abu Dhabi right now, I believe.

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“But he probably sees every single interview and transcript that comes through from NBA players. So, I want the team here, Adam. Thank you.”

It is the second time in four months that James has expressed his desire to own an NBA franchise, specifically in the Las Vegas market.

In a June episode of “The Shop: Uninterrupted,” James, who only a week prior had been named a billionaire by Forbes, stated that he wants to own a team when his playing days come to an end.

“I want to own a team,” James said. “I want to buy a team, for sure.

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“I would much rather own a team before I talk. I want a team in Vegas. I want the team in Vegas.”

Las Vegas has seen a great deal of expansion in recent years, with the Vegas Golden Knights, the Las Vegas Raiders, and the Las Vegas Aces of the WNBA all coming to Sin City. 

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While the NBA commissioner has said that the NBA will eventually expand, Silver shot down rumors that the league was looking to expand to Las Vegas and Seattle after the 2024 season. 

“That talk is not true,” Silver said ahead of Game 1 of the NBA Finals in June. “At least maybe there are people talking who aren’t at the league office about us potentially expanding after the ‘24 season. We are not discussing that at this time. As I’ve said before, at some point, this league will invariably expand. Just not at this moment.”

The NBA is working on negotiating a new collective bargaining deal and a new television deal before taking a look at expansion, according to ESPN. 

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