At 37, the “King” mentioned a new project in which he would like to get involved once he hangs up: owning an NBA franchise, and not just anywhere! “I want to own a team. I want to buy a team, that’s for sure. I’d rather own a team before I speak, but I want a team in Vegas.” he launched in the last episode of his talk show “The Shop”.
Here is a project that lives up to its legend. Beyond the purely financial aspect, the NBA would already have to agree to relocate a franchise or to ratify a new expansion of the league, in which case Las Vegas would clearly be one of the candidate cities.
An inevitable rapprochement?
The rapprochement between the NBA and Las Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world, seems inevitable in the long term. The WNBA has already taken a first step by setting up a franchise there, the Las Vegas Aces, now coached by Becky Hammon. The NBA, for its part, has installed its Summer League there for a long time.
Recently questioned on the subject, Adam Silver confided that the league would inevitably grow, and that Las Vegas had many assets, just like Seattle.
“We are not discussing this at the moment. Like I said before, at some point this league is invariably going to expand, but we’re not discussing that right now,” had declared the commissioner before evoking the tracks of Las Vegas and Seattle. “These are wonderful markets. We were in Seattle. I’m sorry we’re not here anymore. We have a WNBA team in Seattle in a nearly new venue that is doing great. And Las Vegas, where we will be during our Summer League in July, has proven to be a great sports market as well.”
LeBron James’ will may be the final tipping point that pushes the NBA to welcome two more teams. If that were the case, and Las Vegas and Seattle were chosen, one can imagine moving Memphis, Minnesota and/or New Orleans from the Western Conference to the Eastern Conference, in order to balance the two conferences. We are still far from it!