Lakers News: Adam Silver’s Thoughts On Adding A Las Vegas Team, As Requested By Prospective Owner LeBron James

Could King James own an expansion team while playing for said team?

Los Angeles Lakers All-NBA forward LeBron James may not be showing many signs of slowing down on offense, aside from more frequent appearances on the team’s IR, but he certainly seems to have his sights set on the next stage of his life in the NBA.

Last month, the 18-time All-Star explicitly expressed an interest in joining an ownership group, should the league expand to Las Vegas, as has been frequently rumored. Seattle, whose Supersonics abandoned them in 2009 to become the Oklahoma City Thunder, seems to be the other major market in need of an NBA club to call its own, though its WNBA franchise, the Seattle Storm, has won three titles since being the only pro basketball game in town. LBJ made a pretty direct plea to league commissioner Adam Silver, requesting he consider a Vegas club.

During a recent interview with ESPN’s “NBA Today” host Malika Andrews, league commissioner Adam Silver responded to The Chosen One’s request.

Here is the crux of Silver’s answer:

“I think it’s very healthy for the league when you have sort of this life cycle of players that is moving into management, potentially moving into ownership. Obviously Michael Jordan is the owner of Charlotte, David Robinson [owns a stake] in San Antonio, Grant Hill [is a partial owner] in Atlanta. Shaq owned a piece of Sacramento for a while. So I think it’s great for the ecosystem. I’m thrilled that LeBron aspires to be an owner one day. I’d say Las Vegas specifically will make a great location for a franchise one day. We have a WNBA franchise there, the Aces, that obviously just won the championship. It’s not on the front burner right now for the league. I think we’ve been very public about the fact that we want to get through collective bargaining, we want to see where our new media deals come out, but then we’ll turn back to expansion at some point.”

This is probably the most diplomatic approach possible to the James ask. Speaking as an L.A.-based NBA fan, it would be pretty darn great to get another franchise in driving distance, especially in a market that is rapidly emerging as a hotbed for pro teams, having just added three major league teams — the NFL’s Raiders, the NHL’s Golden Knights, and the Aces — since 2017.

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