LAS VEGAS – Former NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal is looking to join the ranks of potential owners for a Las Vegas NBA franchise. The basketball icon, who resides part-time in Las Vegas, expressed his desire to own an NBA team if the league grants the city an expansion franchise.
“I would like to have my own group,” O’Neal stated. “I know Vegas hasn’t been awarded an NBA team yet, but if they ever get to that point, I would like to be a part of it. I don’t want to partner up with anybody. I want it all for myself.”
Las Vegas is a strong contender for a future NBA franchise, with a planned $10 billion NBA-ready arena and hotel project led by the Oak View Group. The arena part of this project is overseen by former Raiders president Marc Badain, who played a pivotal role in the Raiders’ relocation to Las Vegas and the construction of Allegiant Stadium.
While Las Vegas is a prime location, Seattle is also considered a front-runner for an NBA expansion team. The Oak View Group’s involvement in Seattle includes the remodel and operation of Climate Pledge Arena, home to the NHL’s Seattle Kraken.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver mentioned that the league wasn’t ready for expansion in the past, waiting for the completion of a new collective bargaining agreement and media rights deal. With the new CBA finalized earlier this year and the current media rights deal expiring at the end of the 2024-25 season, expansion discussions may gain momentum soon.
Shaq’s interest in ownership aligns with that of Lakers star LeBron James, who also strongly desires to be part of a Las Vegas NBA team’s ownership group. James reaffirmed his aspirations this week following a Lakers preseason game in Las Vegas.
Credits: Review Journal
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