Long Live Las Vegas for NBA Expansion – Daily Bulletin

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LAS VEGAS — It wasn’t long ago that professional sports leagues avoided Sin City, for fear of picking up a shred of impropriety.

That was before the NBA established its Summer League in Las Vegas, before it got a WNBA franchise there (now the reigning champions), and before it made deals to monetize sports betting, which quickly became not only common in many states but also legal.

Could the NBA follow in the footsteps of the NFL and NHL and put an expansion team on The Strip? If so, LeBron James wants to be at the front of the queue as a possible owner; he delivered a sound byte addressed to Commissioner Adam Silver on Wednesday night.

“It’s the best fan base in the world, and I would love to bring a team here at some point,” James said after their preseason loss to the Phoenix Suns. “That would be amazing. I know Adam is in Abu Dhabi (for a preseason game) right now, I think. … But he probably watches every interview and transcript he gets from NBA players. So I want the team here, Adam. . Thank you.”

While James may have slightly increased his interest in his host city during the week, he has made no secret of his intentions before. In June, James made waves by saying that she wanted to have a team in Las Vegas during an episode of his talk show “The Shop.” James recently became the first active NBA player to be valued as a billionaire, according to Forbes, and is aiming to join Michael Jordan in the ownership ranks.

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It seems fitting that preseason games have been played in Seattle and Las Vegas over the past week; they could be the two most eligible expansion markets if the NBA ever decides to open those particular floodgates. Silver has downplayed the urgency of the expansion, which is restricted in part by NBA media rights deals.

“We’re not discussing that right now,” Silver said in June. “Like I said before, at some point, this league will invariably expand, but it’s not right now that we’re discussing it.”

The 37-year-old James cannot own a team as a player and, despite his net worth, cannot buy a team on his own. The team’s most recent sales have hovered around $2 billion.

But as the league has become more welcoming to Las Vegas, especially during its annual Summer League, which draws the entire NBA ecosystem and thousands of fans, it’s easy enough to imagine a franchise that might call on T-Mobile. Sand its headquarters someday.

“I think it’s a great city, the natural organic energy that’s here incorporated into the city goes hand in hand with the level of sports that has been considered to be placed here,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “It’s a no-brainer. By the way. I don’t want to speak for the NBA or the commissioner, but I think at some point you’ll see a permanent NBA team here calling Las Vegas home.”


After missing the first two games of the preseason, Lonnie Walker IV made his first appearance for the Lakers in their 114–99 preseason loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, scoring 10 points to go with five rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes.

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