Los Angeles Lakers starhas made a direct appeal to NBA Commissioner Adam Silver about owning an expansion team in Las Vegas one day.
In a postgame news conference after the Lakers' loss against the Phoenix Suns at T-Mobile Arena on Wednesday, he made his intentions in Sin City clear to Silver.
"It's the best fan base in the world," he said. "I would love to bring a team here at some point."
"I know Adam is in Abu Dhabi right now, I believe... But he probably sees every single interview and transcript that comes through from NBA players. So, I want the team here, Adam, thank you," he added.
Silver is on a preseason trip in the United Arab Emirates, where the Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks are scheduled to play Wednesday. The NBA has been rumored to have interest in adding two expansion teams – potentially one in Seattle and another in Las Vegas – in the near future.
James first voiced his desire to own a team in Las Vegas publicly on his YouTube show, "The Shop: Uninterrupted" in June. The 37-year-old is a and already a part owner of two sports franchises, the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool FC. But his potential path to becoming an owner is blocked by the current collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the NBA and the players' union because he's still a player.
"During the term of this Agreement, no NBA player may acquire or hold a direct or indirect interest in the ownership of any NBA Team or in any company or entity, whether privately or publicly owned, that owns any interest in any NBA Team; provided, however, that any player may have an ownership of publicly-traded securities constituting less than five percent (5%) of the ownership interests in a company or entity that directly or indirectly owns an NBA Team," the clause reads.
While this clause could be revisited when the CBA expires after the 2023-2024 season, it stands in James' way until then unless he decides to hang up his jersey. In the past, James has said he wants to play until his oldest son, 18-year-old Bronny James, enters the league, hoping to be the first father-son duo to do so in NBA history.
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