Discussions about Las Vegas becoming home to an NBA team go back to 2016 when T-Mobile Arena opened. The topic started gaining steam again last year when NBA Commissioner Adam Silver discussed the possibility.
At the time, Bill Simmons of the Ringer said LeBron James was interested in owning a Las Vegas NBA team. Now, former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal is throwing his name in the ring to own a Las Vegas NBA team.
Arena building developer Oak View Group is planning an NBA arena in Las Vegas on land south of Mandalay Bay.
Las Vegas has two potential owners and a company ready to build an arena. The next thing on the agenda for a Las Vegas NBA team would be the league finally expanding to southern Nevada.
According to a post by CBS Sports, there’s finally a rough timeline for when that announcement might happen. Silver says the topic of the NBA expanding will be on the table after the league sorts its media deals for television and streaming rights.
The current NBA media deals will end after the 2024-25 season. Preliminary discussions are underway, but it could still be a while before the league announces expanding to Las Vegas.
LeBron James reiterates interest in owning a Las Vegas NBA team
James hasn’t been shy about his desire to own an NBA team in Las Vegas. He addressed that during a press conference before the Los Angeles Lakers played an exhibition game against the New Jersey Nets at T-Mobile Arena this week.
During the press conference, James shared specific thoughts on why he wants to be a part of Las Vegas:
“Obviously you have the Raiders here, you have the (Golden Knights) here, you have the Aces here. You got F1 coming very soon. All-Star Weekend has been here a few times. You’ve got the NBA Summer League…I think adding an NBA franchise here would just add to the momentum that’s going on in this town.”
LeBron James on why he wants to own the NBA’s potential expansion team in Las Vegas: pic.twitter.com/FjrCNlkxae
— Jovan Buha (@jovanbuha) October 10, 2023
This isn’t the first time James has addressed the Commissioner through the public to be part of a Las Vegas NBA team. It probably won’t be the last time the subject comes up.
Las Vegas is so hot right now that James isn’t alone in wanting to be a part of bringing a pro basketball team to the market. The possible competition is quite tall, used to play for the Lakers and used to own part of an NBA team.
Shaquille O’Neal expresses interest in Las Vegas NBA team
Shaquille O’Neal was in Las Vegas over the weekend hosting The Event at MGM Grand for his charitable foundation.
Shaq shared his interest with The Messenger in being part of a Las Vegas NBA team ownership group. After saying, “I would like to have my own group,” O’Neal went into a little more detail:
“I know Vegas hasn’t been awarded an NBA team yet but if they ever get to a 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.”
Two opposing thoughts here could use a little more context. O’Neal says he wants his “own group” before saying he doesn’t “want to partner” with anyone.
It’s possible O’Neal meant he doesn’t want to partner with a player like James as part of an ownership group.
O’Neal is no stranger to owning an NBA team. In 2013, he was a partial owner of the Sacramento Kings. He sold that stake last year. Coincidentally, the Kings used to be owned by the Maloof family, who also owned Palms Casino.