Lakers

Lakers News: LeBron James Reiterates His Desire To Own Las Vegas Expansion Team

Could this happen in time for him to play for that team?

With his fifth Los Angeles Lakers season set to kick off, All-NBA small forward LeBron James apparently has his eyes elsewhere. But never fear, L.A. fans, it seems unlikely that James will actually be able to suit up for a rival club any time soon.

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James enjoyed an explosive first half during the Lakers’ eventual 119-115 overtime preseason defeat at the hands of LBJ’s banana boat buddy Chris Paul and his Phoenix Suns. The battle was joined on neutral territory: Las Vegas’s new facility T-Mobile Arena. With James and several of the team’s other veteran players being sat for most of the second half (all of it in the case of James), the final score is less important than what we saw during the game’s first 24 minutes.

In that window, the Chosen One put up 23 points on 8-of-11 shooting in a mere 17:26 minutes. L.A. guards Kendrick Nunn, Austin Reaves and Patrick Beverley all looked sharp and played within themselves, orbiting James.

After the game, however, is when things got really interesting. During his postgame media availability, James was asked a seemingly innocuous question about his feelings towards Vegas as a locale. His praise was emphatic.

As you’ll see in the clip, James did not mince words when asked, point blank, how he felt about the very vocal Las Vegas crowd at T-Mobile Arena. The interviewer who inquired probably could not have anticipated just how enthused the future Hall of Famer was about to get, even taking his request for an NBA expansion team to the very top of the league’s hierarchy.

“It’s wonderful, it’s the best fanbase in the world,” James, star of the 17-time champion Los Angeles Lakers (a team famous for its hardcore fans), raved about a town with no NBA team — although Vegas is host to the totally loaded 2022 WNBA title-winning Las Vegas Aces, coached by Becky Hammon. “I would love to bring a team here at some point, that would be amazing,” James revealed. I know [NBA commissioner] Adam [Silver] is in Abu Dhabi right now I believe… with the Bucks and Atlanta [playing a preseason game against one another]. He probably sees every single interview and transcript that comes through from NBA players so… I want a team here Adam, thank you.”

It certainly appears that James is inferring he would like to be involved with a team in Las Vegas. So, one wonders, could Silver and co. add an expansion club to Vegas in time for the 37-year-old superstar to play for that team?

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN rains on the parade a bit, noting that the league’s top priority is figuring out a lucrative upcoming TV and media deal, plus agreeing to a fresh CBA with the league’s players union. Woj cautions that the oft-discussed chatter of new clubs in Seattle and Las Vegas are indeed quite possible, but could be “years away” from coming to fruition.

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