Updated March 1, 2021 - 3:15 pm
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver called expansion of the league “inevitable” last week, but he reiterated it’s still not at the forefront of the league’s business plans.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Silver said expansion wasn’t being mulled pre-pandemic, but the coronavirus’ impact on the league got those talks going again.
“Certainly, during the pandemic as I’ve mentioned, we’ve dusted off some of the plans that we previously looked at for potential expansion,” Silver told the AP. “But it remains on the back burner and it would not be appropriate to expand right now, given where our focus is on trying to work through this season. All our attention is on getting the business back to being fully operable as quickly as possible.”
Raiders owner Mark Davis’ purchase of the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces in January, which was approved by the NBA and WNBA last month, spurred speculation that it could be tied to a possible move to bring an NBA franchise to the city.
Davis said during the process of his purchase of the Aces that he was in contact with Silver and said the topic of Las Vegas landing NBA franchise came up. But he’s unaware of how likely that is to happen.
“I’m not sure,” Davis said. “I’ve talked with Adam Silver because the NBA had to OK me as well to become the owner of the team (the Aces),” Davis told the Review-Journal last month. “So, I’ve had some conversations with him, but nothing is etched in stone on that.”
If that day comes and Las Vegas lands an NBA franchise, whether Davis is involved or not, he believes it would be a great fit.
“Las Vegas will be a wonderful place for an NBA franchise,” Davis said. “The (WNBA) fan base we already have here is fantastic. It’s a family atmosphere there. We hope to grow that exponentially.”