Lakers star LeBron James once again made his post-career ambitions known, speaking directly to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in his post-game press conference about one day owning an NBA franchise in Las Vegas.
“He probably sees every single interview and transcript that comes through from NBA players,” James said Wednesday. “Well, I want the team here, Adam.”
James, whose fortune was estimated at more than $1 billion earlier this year, also owns shares in Fenway Sports Group, which owns the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC
“It’s the best fan base in the world,” James said after the Lakers’ 119-115 loss to the Suns on Wednesday in Las Vegas. “And I would love to bring a team here at some point. That would be great.”
Before the game, Darvin Ham predicted that one day the NBA would have a franchise in Las Vegas. He pointed to the Raiders and recent WNBA champions, the Las Vegas Aces, as well as the league’s Summer League hosted at UNLV.
“I remember a day you barely knew the NBA was in town during Summer League. Now it’s a huge extravagance. It’s a whole rollout, a whole layout of excitement and entertainment built around those 14 or 15 days that the guys are here. I think Las Vegas is obviously a hotbed of entertainment and now has the Raiders here and the Aces,” Ham said.
“…I think it’s only a matter of time before Jerry West becomes permanent — that logo is on the jersey that represents the city of Las Vegas. I think it’s a great city, the natural organic energy that’s being built into the city goes hand in hand with the level of sport that’s based here. … It’s a no-brainer. I don’t want to speak for the NBA or the commissioner later, but I think at some point you’ll see a solid NBA team here calling Las Vegas home.
The Lakers are hosting a second preseason game Thursday night at the T-Mobile Arena, home of the NHL’s Las Vegas Golden Knights.