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Mayweather ‘working behind the scenes’ to bring NBA to Las Vegas

Updated June 14, 2022 - 5:44 pm

Turns out LeBron James isn’t the only superstar athlete interested in owning an NBA team in Las Vegas.

Boxing legend and Las Vegas resident Floyd Mayweather said he’s been “communicating with some certain individuals” about owning an NBA team.

“I’ve been talking to certain individuals for the last six months,” Mayweather said Monday at the M Resort Spa Casino after announcing an exhibition bout against Japanese mixed martial artist Mikuru Asakura. “That’s something I’ve been working on behind the scenes, but I’ve never came out and publicly talked about that with the media.

“Me and my team have been working behind the scenes with the NBA. I can’t say exactly where, but I’m working on getting a team.”

Mayweather’s comments follow similar comments from James, who revealed last week on his talk show “The Shop: Uninterrupted” that he wants to own a team in Las Vegas. The undefeated five-division champion made more than $1 billion in boxing and said he too would prefer to own a team in Las Vegas, but explained that he’s “going to have a team, whether it’s in Vegas or not in Vegas.”

NBA commissioner Adam Silver said before the NBA Finals that the league isn’t currently discussing expansion. Las Vegas and Seattle are considered front-runners should the league decide to expand from 30 to 32 teams.

“I’ve been working on that for a good while now,” said Mayweather, who was enshrined over the weekend in the International Boxing Hall of Fame in Canastota, New York. “I’ve been working behind the scenes. I didn’t want to bring it out until it was engraved in stone.”

In the meantime, Mayweather (50-0, 27 knockouts) will continue fighting exhibitions like the one he announced against Asakura, who was also at the press conference. The exhibition is promoted by Rizin Fighting Federation and will take place this September in Japan — though the date and venue were not announced.

It’ll be Mayweather’s fourth such contest, following exhibitions against Japanese kickboxer Tenshin Nasukawa, influencer Logan Paul and former sparring partner Don Moore, whom he fought last month in Abu Dhabi.

“I’m always focused. I’m always pushing to be the best,” Mayweather said. “It’s still a great feeling to travel the world, do these exhibition fights and entertain people from all walks of life. I’ve seen every style. My job is just to go out there, have fun and be my best.”

Contact Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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