LeBron James wants to own an NBA team…in Las Vegas

LeBron James has set his sights on his latest endeavor: owning an NBA team. He even picked where he wanted them to play — Las Vegas, Nevada.

“I want to own a team. Yeah, I want to buy a team. Of course,” James said in the preview shop Thursday. “…I want a Vegas team.”

This is not a new idea for James.He’s talked about owning an NBA team since he told Jesse Williams and Stephen Marolachakis on a podcast in 2016 open run Leading a team off the field has always been his dream.

“I feel like my brain is unique when it comes to the game of basketball, and I’d love to continue to contribute my knowledge to the game,” James said in 2016. “If not, I’d love to be part of the team in Top. My dream is to actually own a team and I don’t have to give it my all. If I’m lucky enough to have a team, I’ll hire the best general manager and president.”

“But I feel like I have a good insight not only into talent, because we all see a lot of talent, but also the things that make it, the chemistry, what type of person he is, his work ethic, his passion, The basketball IQ thing, because talent can only go so far.”

James’ Road to Ownership

There are a number of ways that James could own an NBA team.

The easiest way for James to buy the team outright or become the majority shareholder in the ownership group. It’s much harder than sound. While James recently became a billionaire, he’ll need a lot of cash to pull off the move.

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst reported in January 2021 that the NBA needs $2.5 billion to expand its franchise — on par with some of the biggest sales in recent times.Cai Chongxin reportedly acquired Brooklyn Nets and Tilman Fertitta for $2.35 billion in 2019 purchase The Houston Rockets reportedly acquired the Houston Rockets for $2.2 billion in 2017.

The easier (albeit slower) way for James to own a team is to start with small shareholders and then buy more shares, as Michael Jordan did with the Charlotte Hornets. Jordan, who has been a minority shareholder in the Hornets since 2006, bought the Hornets in 2010 from major shareholder Robert L. Johnson.

Other retired athletes have also taken the path of minority shareholders in the NBA. Former NBA forward Grant Hill became a minority shareholder in the Atlanta Hawks after joining the team in 2015 for $850 million. James’ friend and former Heat teammate Dwyane Wade buys minority stake in Utah Jazz in 2021, and former Yankees player Alex Rodriguez will make slow buyout with Mark Lowe in 2021 After the team’s agreement, it will become the majority shareholder of the Minnesota Timberwolves through 2023. Shaquille O’Neal was even a minority owner of the Sacramento Kings from 2013-2022.

When can James have a team?

The NBA’s collective bargaining agreement prohibits active players from owning any shares in the team, so James can never buy a team while he’s in the league. However, the current CBA is due to expire in 2024, leaving the door open for the rules to be changed. It’s unlikely, though, that James could even retire before any ownership rules change.

However, players can own shares in companies that own NBA teams. That’s how James can be involved in buying a team, even if he’s still an active player.

James owns a stake in Fenway Sports Group, which itself owns several sports teams including the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Penguins and Liverpool FC.The group is also a contender to acquire one of the expansion teams, according to reports The Ringer’s Bill Simmonsin part because of its relationship to James.

“them [Fenway Sports Group] Been circling different NBA teams for a while. I think they looked at Minnesota. I think they’re the main contenders in Las Vegas,” Simmons said in February. “If I had to bet on a LeBron scenario, no matter what happens, he’s going to be in it — he’s the key guy that Vegas team. “

Meanwhile, the league has denied any plans to expand the league beyond the 2024 season. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said on June 3 that claims that the expansion is coming soon “are not true.”

“As I’ve said before, at some point, this alliance is always going to expand, but we’re not talking about it right now,” Silver said.

Regardless, James has now publicly stated that he not only wants to have an NBA team, but one that expands or moves to Las Vegas.

LeBron James let the world know he wanted an NBA team. (Photo by Michael Tran/AFP via Getty Images)

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