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What did LeBron James have to say to Adam Silver about owning an NBA team in Las Vegas?

As one of the few active players who can even consider the idea, the league’s icon seems to be doubling down on his efforts to buy an expansion team in Las Vegas.

What did LeBron James have to say to Adam Silver about owning an NBA team in Las Vegas?
Ethan MillerAFP

It’s been some time now that the Lakers superstar has been stating his intention to own an NBA franchise, but with his recent comments directed at the league’s commissioner, it would appear he’s getting serious.

LeBron James addresses NBA’s Adam Silver about Las Vegas franchise

Based on his recent comments, it would appear that LeBron James is ramping up his stated desire to own an NBA team. Indeed, James is perhaps one of the few players in the league who can actually afford to approach such a venture. Having recently become the first active NBA player to attain billionaire status, it’s no secret that the league’s best player has a variety of off the court ventures that keep his bank account ticking over. With that said, James again made it clear that his intention is to bring a team to Las Vegas.

Speaking after the Lakers’ preseason clash with the Phoenix Suns in Las Vegas, James had this to say: “It’s the best fanbase in the world, and I would love to bring a team here at some point,” James said of the city, before going on to refer to NBA commissioner Adam Silver directly. “He probably sees every single interview and transcript that comes through from NBA players, so I want the team here, Adam. Thank you.”

Can LeBron James’ wish for Las Vegas become reality?

Here’s the thing. According to recent reports, the possibility of James acquiring an expansion team is actually quite real, however, it’s not likely to happen right here and now. That’s to say, that for starter the league has a new television rights contract to negotiate. Once that situation is resolved, it’s quite likely that the league will be more than willing to address both Las Vegas and Seattle who lost the Sonics back in 2008. Understandably, being able to show potential bidders what they would be working with where television rights are concerned, would be an integral part of any negotiation.

One interesting point to note, is that the NBA does not currently allow team owners to play for their teams. Indeed, since 2001 when Michael Jordan was forced to give up his stake in the Washington Wizards due to the fact that he returned from retirement, the rule has been in place. Could the league change its stance if James is still active if/when he orchestrates a move to ownership? Who’s to say, but what is assured is that this will be a most interesting case to observe. At this point, what we can say is that it’s likely only a matter of time before the Lakers star is the owner of an NBA team. Perhaps the bigger question is whether or not that team - Las Vegas’ - will be successful?