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Shaq expresses interest in owning Vegas NBA expansion team

Former NBA great Shaquille O’Neal added some “Diesel” fuel to the growing list of those who have expressed interest in having ownership in a potential Las Vegas NBA franchise.

Shaq, who is a part-time Las Vegas resident, told The Messenger that he has aspirations of owning an NBA team, should Las Vegas be granted an expansion franchise by the league.

“I would like to have my own group,” O’Neal said. “I know Vegas hasn’t been awarded an NBA team yet, but if they ever get to a point where they are awarded a team, I would like to be a part of that. I don’t want to partner up with nobody. I want it all for myself.”

A potential landing spot for a Las Vegas NBA franchise is a planned $10 billion NBA-ready arena and hotel project headed by Oak View Group. The arena portion of the project is being spearheaded by former Raiders president Marc Badain. He was a key player behind the Raiders’ successful move to Las Vegas and the construction of Allegiant Stadium.

Seattle is another city that is considered a front-runner to land a potential NBA expansion team. Oak View Group also has ties there, as it led the remodel and operates Climate Pledge Arena, home of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver previously told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the league wasn’t yet ready for expansion. They were waiting for a new collective bargaining agreement and media rights deal to be completed before they would consider adding teams.

A new CBA with the NBA Players Association was completed earlier this year, and the league’s media rights deal is up at the end of the 2024-25 season. Silver noted that they would begin negotiations with their current broadcast partners in the spring.

Shaq joins Lakers star LeBron James as notable figures who have expressed desires to be part of a Las Vegas NBA team’s ownership group. James reiterated his hopes this week following the Lakers preseason game with the Brooklyn Nets Monday at T-Mobile Arena.

“I think it’s only a matter of time, and I hope I’m part of that time,” James said.

Contact Mick Akers at makers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2920. Follow @mickakers on X.

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