décembre 1, 2022

Lakers’ LeBron James wants to own Vegas expansion team

2 min read

The NBA hasn’t yet announced where it’s expanding, let alone if it’s adding expansion teams at all. But LeBron James isn’t waiting to let NBA commissioner Adam Silver know that when it happens, he wants to own the Las Vegas team.

The most likely cities for NBA expansion are Seattle, which lost the Sonics to Oklahoma City 14 years ago,  and Las Vegas, which has added an NFL team, an NHL team, and a WNBA team in the past five years. Seattle has a brand-new arena for its NHL expansion team, the Kraken, and Vegas has the six-year-old T-Mobile Arena.

LeBron James has already dabbled in sports ownership, buying a 2% stake in Premier League club Liverpool back in 2011. Last year, James bought into Liverpool’s majority owner, the Fenway Sports Group, which also owns the Boston Red Sox, the NASCAR team Roush Fenway Racing, and the sports network NESN. He also bought a pro pickleball team last week.

While James officially became a billionaire this summer, that’s still not enough to cover the expansion fee. It’s not clear what that fee would be, but last year Silver said that the rumored $2.5 billion expansion fee was « very low. » However, that’s not a problem for the Fenway Group, which is valued at nearly $10 billion. The NBA and the Fenway Group would likely love to see James fronting an ownership group.

NBA rules forbid any player from also owning a stake in a team, which is why Michael Jordan had to sell his 10% interest in the Washington Wizards when he came out of retirement to play for them. But since the NBA hasn’t even announced expansion yet, it’s likely that LeBron will be retired by the time Sin City has its team.

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