BarcelonaLeBron James is already thinking about his future. When he retires, though it doesn’t look like this should happen soon despite his age (he’ll turn 38 in December), the Ohio star aspires to own an NBA franchise. And he doesn’t want to buy any of them, he wants them to be in Las Vegas. This, at the moment, seems complicated, as there is currently no basketball franchise in the well-known city of sin.
There have long been rumors of a process of expanding the number of teams in the NBA. Looks like there are two cities in the pole position to take the big one: Seattle and Las Vegas. The first was already in the competition, known as the Seattle Supersonics, from 1967 to 2008, when the franchise relocated to Oklahoma City. In 1979 the team won its first and only NBA championship ring. Various important voices in the league have called for the return of a franchise that was once charismatic.
Four years ago Las Vegas had no sports team. Since then, he has begun to create his own sports environment and has managed to bring together franchises from various sports, such as the Las Vegas Raiders of the NFL, the American football league, which came two years ago from Oakland; Las Vegas Aces of the NWBA, the women’s basketball league, from the city of San Antonio in 2018, or the Vegas Golden Knights of the NHL, ice hockey, created in 2017. For now, the latter is the only franchise that has been created from scratch in the city. Typically, these arrivals are not typical of an expansion of the leagues with the creation of a new franchise as such, but there is a process of relocation between different cities, as was the case in Seattle and Oklahoma.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has denied in a recent press conference regarding the finals that the league expects an expansion of the competition from the 2023-2024 season. The American leader does not see it as a short-term option, despite the requests of the vast majority of fans.
The king’s business
According to the magazine Forbes, LeBron James has officially become a billionaire. He is the first active NBA player to reach the milestone and the third overall, along with Michael Jordan, considered by many to be the best basketball player in history, and Kobe Bryant. Jordan is the current owner of the Charlotte Hornets in the NBA: he acquired the team in 2010 after years as a minority shareholder.
In total, LeBron James has earned 387 million euros as a player from his contracts with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers, and about 900 million thanks to companies and sponsorships, such as the lifetime contract signed with Nike and its shares with clubs such as Liverpool, in the English Premier League football, and the Boston Red Sox, in the American baseball league. Also for links to companies such as Blaze Pizza, a restaurant chain; SpringHill Entertainment, an entertainment producer (and who made her film Space Jam 2), or Uninterrupted, a medium.
After securing four championship rings as a player for now, it looks like James will want to expand his track record from the offices by becoming the owner of an NBA franchise. And if all goes well, he will be in Las Vegas.