Las Vegas is considered a top candidate for an NBA expansion team, with LeBron James among the notable figures interested in being part of a potential ownership group.
However, if Shaquille O’Neal has his way, James won’t be involved in bringing professional basketball to Sin City.
“I would like to have my own group,” O’Neal told The Messenger’s Arash Markazi. “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.”
This wouldn’t be O’Neal’s first rodeo – he was a minority owner of the Sacramento Kings for nearly a decade. The Hall of Famer sold his stake in the club in January 2022 to become a brand ambassador for WynnBet.
Las Vegas’ sports portfolio has expanded quickly, with the NHL’s Golden Knights, the WNBA’s Aces, and the NFL’s Raiders all coming to the city within the last six years.
O’Neal, who has been a Las Vegas resident for over 20 years, wants to maintain the city’s momentum.
“I love it here,” O’Neal said. “Las Vegas has always been a city you knew was going to grow. You could see different casinos, different real estate projects, and different night clubs popping up. I’ve always been a part of it.
“I used to own one of the hottest nightclubs, sold it, and now I got 9-10 restaurants here. I’m doing very, very well, and I want to continue to grow with Vegas.”