It Sure Looks Like Las Vegas Is Getting An NBA Team
— Updated on 7 June 2022

It Sure Looks Like Las Vegas Is Getting An NBA Team

— Updated on 7 June 2022

When you think about it, it’s honestly pretty crazy that one doesn’t exist already. Of all the potential markets for an NBA team, Las Vegas really stands out as the one with the most potential. Now, if recent rumours and reports are to be believed, the NBA might be looking to introduce a couple of expansion teams in the near future and they have their eyes set on Las Vegas and Seattle.

Seattle has been here before. The Oklahoma City Thunder were formerly the Seatle SuperSonics from 1967 to 2009, hosting some legendary names on the roster such as Gary Payton, Detlef Schrempf, Shawn Kemp, Ray Allen, and Kevin Durant.

Las Vegas, however, hasn’t ever hosted an NBA team. They’ve got the Golden Knights in the NHL and the Raiders in the NFL, but have never had their own go at providing the NBA experience. It is such a no-brainer to take the NBA to Vegas that it’s not even funny. We could talk in detail about Vegas’ history of hosting professional basketball games, but do we really need to? It’s Vegas. You know they can put on a goddamn show. It’s a boomtown for sports, with a lot of people there ready to support a local franchise.

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In an interview with CNBC, CEO of Oak View Group Tim Leiweke announced that his group had purchased 25 acres of land in Las Vegas to build a US$3 billion (AU$4.2 billion) sports and entertainment district that is set to include a 20,000-seat arena. Leiweke also revealed that he would love for the arena to eventually be home to an NBA team of its own.

It’s exciting to think about what a Vegas team might look like. While many have guessed that they’d go for a gambling-related name – whether it be the Jacks, the Dealers, etc – that just comes across as so obvious and borderline cringe. The one that we like the most so far was a concept created by Ryan Meils called the Las Vegas Venom, with desert colours, snakeskin patterns, and a “Sin City” City Edition jersey.

Bill Simmons went a step further with his reports, suggesting that a Las Vegas NBA team would likely include LeBron James as part of an ownership group. “I think it’s officially real — LeBron is definitely going to be involved in that.”

Only two former NBA players have become NBA team owners: Michael Jordan (Charlotte Hornets) and Shaquille O’Neal (Sacramento Kings). When asked about team ownership, James himself replied:

“I’ve always said that my goal was to own a team, own an NBA team. I’ve got so much to give to the game. I know what it takes to win at this level. I know talent and I also know how to run a business as well and so that is my goal. My goal is to own an NBA franchise, and it’ll be sooner than later.”

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