New billionaire LeBron says he wants Vegas team

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LeBron James, whose net worth was recently valuated north of $1 billion by Forbes, has made it known for years that he plans to own an NBA team when he is finished playing.

Now that vision has a location.

“I want a team in Vegas,” James said in a clip from the latest episode of his talk show, “The Shop,” which will debut Friday. “I want the team in Vegas.”

James, who is already a part-owner of Liverpool FC and the Boston Red Sox, said last season that his “goal is to own an NBA franchise,” adding, “and it will be sooner than later.”

James, 37, will enter his 20th NBA season in the fall when Los Angeles Lakers training camp opens up. He would have to be finished playing before he could purchase a team and he would have to figure out an ownership group to aid in the bid — the most recent NBA team to go on the market, the Minnesota Timberwolves, fetched $1.5 billion in 2021.

James would also need the league to expand to Las Vegas. During his annual NBA Finals news conference last week, NBA commissioner Adam Silver said there are no current plans for expansion beyond the league’s 30 teams.

“We are not discussing that at this time,” Silver said. “As I said before, at some point, this league invariably will expand, but it’s not at this moment that we are discussing it.”

However, when asked specifically about Seattle and Las Vegas as potential expansion locations, Silver endorsed both locations.

“Those are wonderful markets,” Silver said. “We were in Seattle. I’m sorry we are no longer there. We have a WNBA team in Seattle in an almost brand-new building that’s doing spectacular. And Las Vegas, where we will be at our summer league in July, has shown itself to be a great sports market as well.”

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