LeBron James Doubles Down On His Desire For An NBA Expansion Franchise In Las Vegas Because “It Just Makes Sense”

There was once a time when Las Vegas was seen as an impossibility for professional sports teams. The temptation of sports gambling loomed as a risky proposition for athletes who might risk it all for the attractions of Sin City. Then the Las Vegas Golden Knights began play during the 2017–18 NHL season and became the first major league professional team in Las Vegas.

With the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces and the Las Vegas Raiders NFL team also gracing the desert’s sports offerings, some feel it is only a matter of time before an NBA team expands into the area. One of the main proponents of that proposition is none other than LeBron James.


The Sin City King?

“It just makes sense,” James told reporters on Monday after the Los Angeles Lakers’ preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets. “Obviously, you have the Raiders here, you have the Knights here, you have the Aces here, you got F1 coming very soon. You know, All-Star Weekend has been there. 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,” James continued. “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.”

Last year, James made a public overture to NBA commissioner Adam Silver after a preseason game against the Minnesota Timberwolves to consider the Las Vegas team expansion.


Will The NBA Follow Teams Into The Desert?

James has a portfolio of equity in certain sports franchises. Since 2021, he has had a piece of the Fenway Sports Group that owns the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Liverpool FC, increasing his stake in the group earlier this year.

According to commissioner Silver, who updated the media in July at the Association of People Securing Employment conference, whether the NBA will put a team in Las Vegas depends on new media rights deals.

“It’s not a sure thing but, as I’ve said before, I think it’s natural that organizations grow over time,” Silver said. Aside from Las Vegas, Silver said, “there’s no doubt there’s enormous interest in Seattle.”

LeBron is laying out his plans and hoping the NBA will grant his wish for expansion into Sin City.

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