Former Los Angeles Lakers superstar Shaquille O’Neal expresses interest in owning an expansion franchise in Las Vegas, potentially competing with LeBron James for ownership rights.
The basketball world may soon witness an exciting showdown in the race for ownership of the anticipated expansion franchise in Las Vegas, as former Los Angeles Lakers legend Shaquille O’Neal throws his hat into the ring. While LeBron James has been the focal point of ownership talks, it seems that the Big Diesel has aspirations of his own in the realm of franchise ownership, as reported by Arash Markazi of The Messenger.
- Shaquille O’Neal expresses interest in owning a Las Vegas expansion franchise.
- NBA Commissioner Adam Silver hints at possible expansion by 2025.
- O’Neal’s strong connection to Vegas and previous ownership experience make him a compelling contender.
According to Markazi, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has hinted at the possibility of expanding the league as early as 2025, contingent upon the next media rights contract. Among the top rumored locations for this expansion, Las Vegas and Seattle lead the pack, with Mexico City also in consideration.
So, why does Shaquille O’Neal lean toward Las Vegas as his preferred destination for franchise ownership? One simple reason is that he calls Sin City his home. With an estimated net worth of $400 million, O’Neal already has a taste of ownership in the NBA, having previously held a stake in the Sacramento Kings from 2013 to 2022. This connection to the league could give him an edge in securing an ownership role.
While LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal never shared the court during their time with the Lakers, they did briefly don the same jersey as teammates for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2009-10 season. At that point, O’Neal was coming off his final All-Star season with the Phoenix Suns, averaging 12 points and 6.7 rebounds in 53 games at the age of 37. James, although on the verge of achieving NBA championship glory, had not yet reached his peak as a champion with the Miami Heat.
The Cavs, with their impressive 61-21 record and the top seed in the Eastern Conference, faced an unexpected defeat in the second round of the playoffs against the Orlando Magic. This setback ultimately prompted James to explore free agency and head to Miami, while O’Neal departed for the Boston Celtics.
As the prospect of franchise ownership in Las Vegas looms on the horizon, fans and basketball enthusiasts eagerly await the unfolding rivalry between LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal in the boardroom, a dramatic twist in the legacies of two Lakers icons.