The NBA has increased in popularity throughout the years due to the surplus of young talent entering the league. There have been rumors of potential expansion to Las Vegas and Seattle although nothing has come to fruition just yet.
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has been a proponent of incorporating an expansion team, specifically in Las Vegas, which seems like an obvious choice due to the city being a tourist destination. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has hinted at some new franchises entering the fold in the near future and talks may heat up in the coming years.
While nothing is official yet, there have been retired players who want to be a part of owning or having partial ownership of an expansion team. One is Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal, who recently said that he would like to start his own group for a team in Las Vegas.
Knowing James may already be putting a group together, Shaq has now amended his statement saying he would be willing to join LeBron’s group, via Arash Markazi of The Messenger:
“If there’s ever an NBA team that’s going to come here, I would definitely like to be involved,” he said. “With LeBron, without LeBron, I just want to be involved.”
If or once expansion happens, it will be interesting to see how competitive it would be for ownership. Especially if a team is stationed in Las Vegas, there will be a lot of interest whether it be from O’Neal or James, there will be plenty of suitors ‘fighting’ for ownership.
The NBA has been about the change through recent years by changing the All-Star game format, adding a Play-In Tournament and now an In-Season Tournament for the 2023-24 season, which the Lakers and James ended up winning in Las Vegas.
While some of this change has garnered mixed opinions from fans and players, it is good to see Adam Silver trying to adapt and make new changes to the game of basketball.
O’Neal seems determined to own an NBA team in Las Vegas due to being a long-time resident and owning several restaurants in the area. While there is no timeline for potential expansion or if it will happen at all, it would be rewarding to see two Lakers legends owning an NBA team together to see how they manage a franchise.
Silver responds to James after plea to own NBA team in Las Vegas
While it seems James and O’Neal may form an ownership group for a potential Las Vegas team, Silver responded to James’ comments about an expansion team. He was pleased to hear James wants to be an owner of a team but does not see expansion at the forefront of his to-do list.
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