NBA Expansion: Putting Together The Las Vegas ‘Dream Team’

Despite not playing in nearly three months, when LeBron James speaks, people listen.

James was asked recently if he would like to at some point own an NBA team? James said yes, and threw out the idea of owning a potential expansion franchise in Las Vegas.

The league currently has 30 franchises and could easily expand, with Seattle and Las Vegas as the most likely locations. Recruiting potential free agents should be easy for a team in Las Vegas. The climate, gambling, nightlife, and the lack of a state income tax would be appealing to young millionaires.

In fact, let’s put together a “Dream Team” to start up in the desert. But let’s not just limit it to today’s stars, let’s go back in the history of the league to put together what would be the most interesting team in NBA history.

This would be the sports version of The Expendables Film Franchise.

Michael Jordan. The spectacle of an owner-player relationship consisting of the two greatest players in league history would make Skip Bayless’ head explode. Jordan lives for competition and loves to gamble. Vegas is his kind of town.

Our team needs an all-time great center. I don’t envision Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, or Hakeem Olajuwon embracing Las Vegas. So let’s go with a larger-than-life personality in Shaquille O’Neal. Shaq is very comfortable in a casino setting.

If Shaq is on this “Dream Team”, his TV partner Charles Barkley has to be as well. Barkley is not afraid to admit that he loves to gamble.

The biggest concern with Shaq and Sir Charles on this team would be the all-you-can-eat buffets that exist in Las Vegas.

Speaking of all-you-can-eat buffets, Antoine Walker would make Shaq and Barkley look svelte. Antoine lost a fortune gambling, so let’s welcome him onto our expansion team in Las Vegas.

Walker’s former teammate Paul Pierce would add instant offense off the bench as well as the ability to round up some … entertainment.

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Every team needs rebounding and defense off the bench. Who better to fill this role than Dennis Rodman, who famously went to Vegas in the middle of the NBA Finals. One of Jordan’s main tasks would be to keep Rodman in line. The worm’s defense and energy would be a plus on our squad.

Current 76ers star James Harden loves to gamble and more specifically loves strip clubs. What better place for Harden to finish his career than in the desert.

Finding a coach for this team might be difficult since Jerry Tarkanian, who led UNLV to a national championship in 1990, is deceased.

With the team consisting of this much talent, who needs a coach. On this, I agree with Kyrie Irving.

Since the temptations and trappings in Vegas must be monitored, a key role in this organization will be the Head of Security.

Remember Leonardo DiCaprio’s character in Catch Me If You Can? After pulling off numerous fraudulent acts and serving jail time, Frank Abagnale Jr. began to work for the FBI investigating fraud. With that in mind, none other than former disgraced referee Tim Donaghey will be our Security Chief.

The team’s nickname could be the Outlaws, Expendables, or Degenerates. Speaking of such, golfer Phil Mickelson would be our “Super Fan”

Look at the options to sing the national anthem at the home games. Celine Dion, Wayne Newton, or any Elvis impersonator.

Speaking of Elvis, a team based in Las Vegas owned by a King makes too much sense.

John Sapochetti is co-host of the Pick & Roll NBA Podcast with JET & SAP, which is heard here on Full Press Coverage.

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