Ever the businessman off the court, one of the long-term goals LeBron James has had for some time is to own an NBA franchise. In recent times, LeBron has gotten more focused on his plan, stating he wants to specifically own a franchise in Las Vegas.
It probably wasn’t a coincidence, then, that he and the Lakers took to Vegas on Wednesday for a preseason showdown with the Phoenix Suns. Ever aware of the moment as he always is, LeBron took his opportunity after the game to send a message directly to league commissioner Adam Silver himself.
“He probably sees every single interview and transcript that comes through from NBA players,” James said, via Dan Woike of the LA Times. “So, I want the team here, Adam.
“It’s the best fanbase in the world. And I would love to bring a team here at some point. That would be amazing.”
While it’s a fool’s errand to doubt LeBron, he does have some conflicting plans for his future. LeBron has been adamant that he wants to play in the league with at least his oldest son in 2024 and potentially his second-oldest three or four years after that. Given his inability to age and how great he continues to look entering his second decade in the league, it feels like an increasingly likely scenario.
The problem is, the longer he stays in the league, the longer he has to wait to own a team in the league. The league is always stringent when it comes to investigating potential future owners of franchises, so there’s no way LeBron is going to be allowed to be directly or indirectly involved in ownership so long as he’s playing.
Now, all that being said, the league is not set for any sort of imminent expansion. As noted by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN on Wednesday night, expansion is down the list of things the league will address.
The NBA plans to negotiate new television/media and Collective Bargaining deals before seriously examining the adding of new teams. The possibilities of Las Vegas and Seattle as expansion candidates are real, but likely years away. https://t.co/aF7ypjzGbd— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 6, 2022
The current TV deal runs through the 2024-25 season, so a new deal won’t even begin for three years. The collective bargaining agreement comes up a year before that, so expansion will certainly be broached then as well.
Until then, those talks are on hold. But it’s a tight timeline LeBron is operating within. We’re well past the days of labeling anything associated with LeBron as “impossible” but this is one goal that is far, far away from becoming a reality.