NBA’s awaited CBA will allow players like LeBron James to invest in NBA/WNBA teams, as Lakers star eyes expansion franchise in Las Vegas
Reportedly, the NBA’s pending collective bargaining agreement will allow active players to invest in NBA and WNBA franchises.
The news, reported by The Athletic’s Shams Charania, comes against the backdrop of LeBron James’ interest in the ownership.
The NBA’s all-time leading scorer has said he wants to own a team in Las Vegas, with veteran journalist Rick Bucher saying last year he was “center-stage” for a potential expansion franchise there.
As he explained on his podcast last August, Bosher was told by league sources that expansion clubs in Las Vegas and Seattle could appear in 2025, after the NBA’s existing media contracts expire.
James was 40 at the time, an age at which he is still playing.
LeBron James has publicly expressed his desire to own a team in Las Vegas
In addition, his eldest son, Bruni, could be making his NBA debut by the 2024-25 season, or choose to wait a year in hopes of being drafted by an expansion franchise his father owns.
Examples of active athletes having ownership on a team are few and far between.
Mario Lemieux was a part-owner of the Pittsburgh Penguins while playing for the team coming out of retirement in 2000, while David Beckham’s MLS deal to join the Galaxy in 2007 included the future option to buy a league franchise at a discount. (He later exercised the option with the founding of Inter Miami.)
Of course, James is already a partner in Fenway Sports Group, which means he has minority stakes in several professional sports teams through the company, including MLB’s Boston Red Sox, the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, a NASCAR team, and Liverpool FC, which was originally. Invested in 2011.
Meanwhile, the pending CBA would also allow a relaxation of the league’s drug-testing rules, in which players will no longer be tested or banned for marijuana, according to The Athletic.
It will also allow players to invest in and promote cannabis companies.
LeBron James is seen during a visit to Anfield in Liverpool in October 2011
Mario Lemieux bought a piece of penguins before deciding he wanted to play again
On the field, there will be changes as well.
The off-season championship Commissioner Adam Silver has wanted for years will become a reality, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke to The Associated Press.
In addition, players will have to appear in at least 65 matches to be eligible for top individual awards such as Most Valuable Player.
The deal will begin this summer and will run at least through the 2028-29 season.
Either side could then withdraw; Otherwise, it will run until 2029-30.