NBA legend says he heard LeBron James will be owner of Las Vegas expansion team

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

NBA legend Tracy McGrady said that he has heard an NBA team in Las Vegas would be LeBron James’ in an interview with GQ’s Howard Beck.

“I’ve heard that for the last three years, that it was gonna be an expansion team out here in Las Vegas,” McGrady said. “I heard that LeBron James is going to be the owner of that. It’s his team. I heard it through league channels.”

James is still under contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, but it’s possible that after his playing career ends that he will look to own an NBA franchise.

Last October, James revealed that he would like to bring a team to Las Vegas, making sure NBA commissioner Adam Silver heard his claim.

“I would love to bring a team here at some point. That would be amazing. I know Adam is in Abu Dhabi right now, I believe,” James said. “But he probably sees every single interview and transcript that comes through from NBA players.

“So, I want the team here, Adam. Thank you.”

James is one of the greatest players in NBA history, so it may be a good thing to keep him around the league as an owner after his playing days are done. The NBA would likely need another expansion team along with the Las Vegas squad to balance out the two conferences (16 teams each).

The four-time champion is under contract with the Lakers for the 2023-24 season, but he could enter free agency after that. James has a player option for the 2024-25 season. The 38-year-old also may consider retirement at some point soon, especially after some of the injuries he has dealt with during his time with the Lakers.

It seems like others around the NBA are bracing for James to own a Las Vegas team if McGrady is also hearing it through his channels.

For now, the Lakers star is focused on bringing another title to Los Angeles after the team came up short in the 2022-23 season.

The Lakers were ultimately swept by the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals after making it past the first two rounds of the playoffs as a No. 7 seed.

A 19-time All-Star, James averaged 28.9 points, 8.3 rebounds and 6.8 assists per game while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 32.1 percent from beyond the arc in the 2022-23 regular season.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.