LeBron James put on a show in the Lakers’ preseason loss to the Suns in Las Vegas on Wednesday, scoring 23 points in front of a Sin City crowd. If James has his way, Wednesday’s game would be a chapter of many to come for him and Las Vegas basketball.
After his preseason presentation, James called on NBA commissioner Adam Silver to add a team to Las Vegas, while also making a personal plea to own the team if the league were to expand to Sin City.
“I would love to bring a team here at some point. That would be awesome,” James said. “I know Adam is in Abu Dhabi right now, I believe (the Bucks and Hawks play a preseason game there Saturday). But he’s probably watching every interview and transcript that comes in from NBA players.
“Well, I want the team here, Adam. Thanks.”
This was the second time in a few months that James has stated that he wants to own an NBA team in Vegas at some point in the future, with the first time coming on his YouTube show, “The Shop.”
FOX Sports’ Shannon Sharpe believes James is just sending a reminder to the commissioner about what he wants to do going forward.
“LeBron is basically saying, ‘Adam, don’t forget your boy,'” Sharpe said on Thursday’s “Undisputed.” “Obviously, you have to work with someone because it seems like the value of these franchises has skyrocketed.”
LeBron James is campaigning for an NBA franchise in Las Vegas
Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe react to LeBron James’ comments about owning a team in Las Vegas and ponder whether he would be a better NBA owner than Michael Jordan.
Sharpe mentioned how the value of NBA franchises has increased since Steve Ballmer bought the Clippers for $2 billion in 2014. More recently, Joe Tsai completed a $3.3 billion purchase to own 100% of the Nets in 2019, and Tillman Fertitta bought the Rockets for $2.2 billion in 2017.
Even though James recently became a billionaire, Sharp believes the four-time NBA champion won’t be able to own the team on his own.
“He’ll probably have to be a minority owner to start, like Michael Jordan did with the Hornets before he bought the rest of the team from Bob Johnson,” Sharp said. “But I could see it happening.”
James already owns a stake in several sports teams. He and Maverick Carter have partnered with Fenway Sports Group in recent years, making James co-owner of the Red Sox and Liverpool FC
If the opportunity came soon, Sharp believes James would quit playing to own an NBA team in Las Vegas.
If James gets involved with the ownership of a future NBA team, Bayles believes he will face a big problem.
“I don’t think he would be a good owner, he would be a great owner,” Bayless said. “He also considers the question … would he insist on being the GM the same way that Jordan insisted, to his detriment, on being the GM? I can’t say that for real, but history would tell you that LeBron wouldn’t Be a great GM. It’s just hard. You should step away completely. The older the player, the harder it is to know who can play because none of them will be as good as you. No one. Zero.
“Chances are if he has the team in Vegas for 20 years, there’s never going to be a player as good or better than LeBron James. That’s his problem.”
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