LeBron James retirement predicted after Adam Silver plea

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NBA expert Shannon Sharpe believes LeBron James will walk away from basketball if he is given the chance to be the owner of a team, after the Los Angeles Lakers star told the NBA commissioner Adam Silver he wants to own a team in Las Vegas.

The NBA is said to be discussing the idea of expanding the league to 32 teams, with Seattle and Las Vegas the two cities expected to be given a franchise. ESPN reporter and insider Adrian Wojnarowski has stated that the possibility of expansion is legitimate, but it isn’t an immediate issue for the NBA. 

Seattle previously had it’s own NBA team, the Supersonics from 1967 until 2008, until owner of the franchise, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz decided to relocate the team to Oklahoma City, thus, creating the Oklahoma City Thunder. Las Vegas, meanwhile, has never had an NBA team.

James has made his post-career intentions clear that he’d like to own an NBA franchise, and is openly targeting the Las Vegas team, whilst pleading with NBA commissioner Adam Silver. James said: “It’s the best fanbase in the world, and I would love to bring a team here at some point. He probably sees every single interview and transcript that comes through from NBA players, so I want the team here, Adam. Thank you.”

The NBA does not allow team owners to play for their teams. This has became enforced when Michael Jordan had become a minority owner for the Washington Wizards, and decided to unretire for the second time as he would play for them – forcing him to give up his stake.

Therefore, if James is to become an owner of a team, he may have to retire to do so. James has spoken on wanting to play alongside his son in the league, if he is able to do, with Bronny James Jr. eligible to enter the league in 2024.

However, if the opportunity comes up to own a team, Sharpe believes that James would retire to do so.

Speaking on his show UNDISPUTED, Sharpe said: “It’s no secret that one of his goals is to own an NBA franchise. Michael Jordan did it and LeBron wants to do it. LeBron is basically saying to Adam Silver, don’t forget your boy. These NBA franchises are sky-rocketing in price.

“He will probably have to start as a minority owner like Jordan but I believe LBJ would give up playing to become an owner of an NBA franchise – but I can see it happening.

“In the next three years, if they expand to Vegas and Seattle, does that mean LeBron will retire so he can be an owner? I believe he will retire to become an owner.”

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