Following a 119-115 loss to the Phoenix Suns in a preseason game in Las Vegas, Nevada, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James had some very interesting things to say in his postgame press conference.
LeBron looked sharp in this game, scoring 23 points on 8-11 shooting in the first-half, but this was not really the main takeaway from the night for the All-Star forward.
When asked about the energy the Las Vegas fans brought and the environment in which this game was played, LeBron James did not hold back on his true feelings about wanting there to be a new expansion team in Las Vegas, one that he has ownership ties to.
“It’s wonderful. It’s the best fanbase in the world and I would love to bring a team here at some point. That would be amazing,” James said with a genuine smile on his face. “I know Adam [Silver] is in Abu Dhabi right now I believe with the Bucks and Atlanta, but he probably sees every single interview and transcript that comes through from NBA players so, I want the team here Adam, thank you.”
While some will take James’ comments out of context a little bit, he is actually quite serious about wanting to bring a team to Las Vegas and this has been rumored for quite some time.
Back in a promotional video for an episode of his show “The Shop” in June, LeBron James made it very clear that he was a fan of the idea of bringing an expansion team to Sin City, stating that he wanted to own a team and that he wants to see a team in Vegas. James later backed up this statement with a post on Twitter.
It would not be surprising to see James become an owner in the league one day, following in the footsteps of Charlotte Hornets owner Michael Jordan, the only past NBA player to actively serve as a franchise’s owner, especially since James officially became a billionaire, according to Forbes, in June.
Between having the money to invest in a new franchise, as well as having the massive following that would support him both inside and outside the league, it seems like the stars are aligning for LeBron James to continue his journey in the game of basketball once he decides to call it quits on what has been one of the most remarkable careers in the history of the NBA.
As far as when a new expansion team could arrive, that is a question for commissioner Adam Silver to answer another day.
In his yearly NBA Finals press conference, Silver was very stern on the fact that the league has not been actively looking to add an expansion team in both Seattle and Las Vegas, the two cities that are most likely to see new NBA franchises come their way at some point in the future.
Silver did mention that it is “inevitable” that the league will expand at some point, but that it is not a key topic of discussion right now and that possible expansion talks could gain traction following the 2023-24 season.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, The NBA plans to negotiate new television/media and Collective Bargaining deals before they begin seriously considering the addition of new teams.
Turning 38-years-old on December 30 and starting to near the end of the line in his career, the timing of LeBron James’ possible retirement and the possibility of the league adding two new expansion teams could very much cross paths at the perfect time.
For now though, James still remains a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, a team looking to get back on track after a dreadful 2021-22 season. The Lakers will begin the 2022-23 NBA season on the road against the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors on October 18.