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Will it be Viva Las Vegas someday for LeBron James?

The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz discusses LeBron talking about wanting to own a potential NBA expansion franchise in Las Vegas.

LeBron James apparently wants to walk in the footsteps of another famous king, as he has made clear his desire to own a potential NBA expansion franchise in Las Vegas.

What did The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz think about LeBron openly talking about taking his talents to the Strip? And can he outmaneuver Shaq, who has also expressed interest in a potential Vegas team?

David Samson joined the show and said he thinks the NBA wants LeBron over Shaq, no question. But he has news for people thinking LeBron is going to be like Michael Jordan — he’s not. David says in order for LeBron to be the controlling owner of an expansion team the NBA is going to have to change its rules. The NBA may want LeBron involved, but David says he doesn’t have the cash to make this dream a reality. David says LeBron doesn’t have the money to pay the expansion fee and to be the highest equity person and the NBA, along with the other pro sports leagues, has rules about what an owner has to put in and what percentage of a team the main owner has to have. LeBron doesn’t just want to be the outward face of an ownership group, like say Magic Johnson. No, David says LeBron wants to be the one in charge. He goes back to his own wheelhouse, noting that MLB had a similar issue with Derek Jeter when he was part of an ownership group purchasing the Marlins. Jeter wound up running the team, while Bruce Sherman was the controlling owner. But David doesn’t think that LeBron wants to run a potential Vegas team like Jeter, he wants to be controlling it like Sherman. And David doesn’t know how he’s going to be able to pull that off.

A returning Chris Wittyngham points out isn’t LeBron already sort of in this game with Fenway Sports Group and Redbird Captial? David says he understands where LeBron could come up with the money to do it, but he’s talking about LeBron being THE NAME. David says there is one control person for every franchise and the question becomes how can he become the control person and not just part of an ownership group. David sees how it could work with LeBron being part of an ownership group in Vegas, but his view is that LeBron would want to be the control person.

Witty points out that given how expensive the expansion fee alone will be, there are very few people in the entire world, never mind in athletics, who could afford to be that money man. Dan points out that Jordan is the lone athlete to crack the Forbes 400, and he only accomplished that AFTER selling the Hornets. Witty says NBA teams used to be “affordable,” but the buying environment is no longer what it was in the late 2000s.

David says that unlike what MLS owners did when they granted David Beckham the option to have an expansion franchise years ago, NBA owners will not be willing to do the same for LeBron at a reduced fee because they need the expansion fee money to pay down their debt. So, David says LeBron is not going to get what Beckham got and he frankly doesn’t think anyone will ever get that deal again.

Stugotz asks, wouldn’t most groups WANT LeBron to be their control guy? David, however, says it’s not a matter of what they want, but rather what NBA rules will allow for. Dan, meanwhile, points out that most billionaires won’t want to give LeBron more power than the billionaire has in an ownership group. If it gives the franchise more value and makes it more of a destination for top talent, yes, Stugotz thinks there would be people out there willing to make that trade off.

Billy points out that you also saw what happens when you have someone like Michael Jordan as your control person. And you’ve seen it to a lesser extent with LeBron when he’s been allowed to be an almost shadow GM — he could be the greatest basketball player ever but still not know how to successfully run a basketball franchise. David agrees, pointing out that when it came to Jeter he learned how different it is being a CEO versus playing shortstop. As for Jordan, David points out that his reputation took no hits because his team went up so much in value, but can anyone say that MJ had a successful reign running the Hornets? He doesn’t think so.

Meanwhile, the DLB crew is back playing everyone’s favorite game ... AGAINST THE SPREAD!


Local Hour: I’m Not a Big Fan of That

  • Billy is broadcasting tonight’s FIU Football game pro bono. It’s a David Samson Wednesday and he, Dan, and Jeremy spend some time discussing the ongoing horror in Israel. Then, Dan is furious with the Baltimore Orioles, David implies the MLB umpires can ~influence~ the postseason results, and LeBron and Shaq want to own a team in Vegas.

The Big Suey: The Baseball Kiss of Death

  • The crew wraps up their conversation with David Samson on teams in Vegas and athletes owning franchises. Billy gives us some more info on his broadcast tonight as we dive into the former Spanish Language radio stations in Miami. Plus, Stephen A. Smith spoke about Marcellus Wiley on The Breakfast Club, and Dan, Stu, and the Shipping Container discuss the world-building Stephen A. is doing around his own personality.

Hour 1: Hate Is a Strong Word

  • Michelle Beadle is here to discuss her new Sirius XM Show “Beadle & Decker,” the MLB Postseason, Mad Dog as a boss, James Harden, and more. Then, Don Van Natta compliments Jeremy’s work on Pablo Torre Finds Out, Lucy tells us who she hates, and Mark Stoops cuts through the noise on College Football recruiting. Plus, we get to this week’s Useless Sound Montage.

Hour 2: The HawgBeat FOIA Request

  • What would it look like if The Devil bought shots for you and your friends? Probably something like what Lucy went through at the Red River Rivalry this weekend. Then, James Franklin is shaken to his core, Stugotz is addicted to the Lotto, and Billy reminds us that he rules the Bucket of Death with an iron fist. Plus, Dan Enos might be a reply guy, a discussion on exclamation points, and the ever-valuable rocking chairs at Cracker Barrell.

Postgame Show: There’s Nothing Better

  • It’s time for everyone’s favorite game...


Check out the Le Batard and Friends YouTube page for more and subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow the show on X at @LeBatardShow.

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