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Lebron James or Shaquille O’Neal Set to Own NBA Team in Las Vegas

Noah Pare

Former teammates and NBA legends Lebron James and Shaquille O’Neal both wish to gain full ownership of an NBA team in Las Vegas.

The Los Angeles Lakers' Lebron James, a renowned basketball legend with 19 All-Star appearances, first expressed his interest in taking at least partial, if not full, ownership of a new NBA team in June of 2022. He stated, “I want a team in Vegas,” despite his current ownership of the Boston Red Sox, the Pittsburgh Penguins, Liverpool FC, and RFK Racing. Four months later, James repeated his request to the world more directly: “I would love to bring a team here [Las Vegas] at some point. That would be amazing. I know Adam [Adam Silver, the NBA’s 5th and current commissioner] is in Abu Dhabi right now, I believe, but he probably sees every single interview and transcript that comes through from NBA players. So I want a team here Adam. Thank you.” 

Despite a lack of promising feedback, James persisted, unwilling to give up on his goal. A year later, when questioned about why he wants the team to be located in Vegas, he responds, "Obviously, you have the Raiders here, you have the Knights here, you have the Aces here. You got F1 coming very soon. All-Star Weekend has been a few times," James explains. "I think adding an NBA franchise here would just add to the momentum that's going on in this town." Surprisingly, James is not the only one who expressed interest in owning an NBA team in Las Vegas. Retired 19-year NBA star with 15 total All-Star appearances, Shaquille O’Neal (Shaq) shares James’ Goal. In October of 2023, Shaq stated, “I would like to have my own group. I know Vegas hasn’t been awarded an NBA team yet, but if they ever get to the 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.” Though it is unwanted, it is possible the NBA will approve this request for expansion due to their struggling financial circumstances. There is currently no policy regarding the formal expansion of the NBA concerning teams. If the expansion occurs, who do you think will gain ownership? Will it be in Las Vegas as requested?


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