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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Shaq, Like LeBron, Wants To Own An NBA Team In Las Vegas

  • Hall of Famer is the latest to express desire for Las Vegas team
  • NBA expansion process remains on hold
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

LeBron James has talked so much over the last year about his desire to own an NBA expansion team in Las Vegas that it almost feels like a foregone conclusion.

Not so fast, says fellow basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal. 

O’Neal, who also starred for the Los Angeles Lakers and is now a fixture on TNT’s “Inside The NBA,” told The Messenger he’s also keenly eyeing the fast-growing Nevada sports market — and has no intention of partnering with James.

“I would like to have my own group,” O’Neal said. “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.”

There is not yet a formal process for NBA expansion, as commissioner Adam Silver intends to first complete domestic media rights deals to succeed the current ones expiring in 2025. But Las Vegas, along with Seattle, is seen as a very strong candidate. 

Major facility developer Oak View Group is including an NBA arena as a central element of a planned $10 billion entertainment district in Las Vegas that would also include a hotel and gaming facilities.

Like James, O’Neal has been an active investor and businessman, perhaps most notably through his involvement in several national restaurant chains. O’Neal previously held an equity stake in the Sacramento Kings, which he sold early last year, telling fans, “Till we meet again.”

James’ wide-ranging and growing investment portfolio is highlighted by an equity stake in Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Liverpool FC parent Fenway Sports Group.

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