The NBA has not yet made a final decision on creating a team in Las Vegas, but interest in this possibility has been growing. After LeBron James expressed his desire to have a franchise in the city, it was Shaquille O’Neal’s turn to publicly declare his interest in owning a team without the need for partners.
Shaquille O’Neal stated, “I would like to have my own group. I know that Las Vegas does not currently have an NBA team, but if we get to that point, I would love to be a part of it. I don’t want to have any partnerships. I want it all for myself,” he said in an interview with “The Messenger.”
LeBron James had already expressed his interest approximately a year ago and reinforced his desire after a Lakers game in Las Vegas last Monday. He believes that adding an NBA franchise to the city would contribute to its current momentum, citing the presence of the NFL’s Raiders, the hosting of the All-Star Game, and the future arrival of Formula 1.
The U.S. media has been reporting for some time that the NBA plans to expand by the end of the 2020s, with Las Vegas and Seattle as the favored cities to receive new teams. In July, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver confirmed that discussions about expansion would be resumed after new broadcast rights agreements were finalized. The idea behind expansion is to generate more revenue for the league, especially after years of losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. When expansion occurs, current team owners agree to share future NBA revenues in exchange for an immediate injection of funds. The last NBA expansion took place in 2004, increasing the league to 30 teams.
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