NBA rumors: LeBron James and Shaq both vying for Vegas expansion
Arash Markzi of The Messenger asked LeBron James why he specifically wants an NBA team in Las Vegas.
"It just makes sense. Obviously, you have the Raiders here, the Knights here, and the Aces here. You got F1 coming very soon. All-Star weekend has been here a few times, then you have the NBA Summer League that's very popular."
In the past six years, Vegas has become the home of the NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights, the current Stanley Cup champions; the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces, the current WNBA champions; and the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, formerly located in Oakland.
"Sports is here," James said. "I think adding an NBA franchise here would just add to the momentum that's going on in this town. It's an attraction." While Lebron James is absolutely correct about the momentum in Vegas, he's not alone in thinking that. Another Lakers legend shares LeBron James' desire to add to Vegas' bustling sports landscape, that being, Shaquille O'Neal.
Shaquille O’Neal also spoke to The Messenger about his desire to own a team in Vegas. "I would like to have my own group,” O’Neal told The Messenger. “I know Vegas hasn’t been awarded an NBA team yet but if they ever get to a point where they are awarded a team, I would like to be a part of that. I don’t want to partner up with nobody. I want it all for myself.”
In his retirement, Shaq has become somewhat of a business mogul and as a result, has been living in Vegas for over 20 years. "I used to own one of the hottest night clubs, sold it and now I got 9-10 restaurants here." I’m doing very, very well and I want to continue to grow with Vegas.”
LeBron ended it with, "I think it's only a matter of time." According to NBA commissioner Adam Silver, the league will look at possible expansion once the next media rights deals are done in 2025. That being said, we won't have to wait too long to find out which Laker legend comes out on top in this rare off-court matchup.