NBA Expansion Rumors
Metta World Peace believes the NBA will place an expansion team in Las Vegas in the near future and he would like to partner with the Maloof family to make up part of the team’s ownership group. “I’m very interested in talking with different groups to see if they would allow us the opportunity to get involved,” World Peace told The Sporting Tribune. “I think you have to somehow involve the Maloofs. I think the Maloofs set the tone for Las Vegas.”
“I love the Maloofs and I would like to work with the Maloofs again,” said World Peace, who played for the Kings from 2006 to 2008 when the team was owned by the Maloofs. “They have been nothing but family to me. I think just having an advisory board with the Maloofs on it makes perfect sense. It just shows that you’re coming into the city with some respect. It shows that you’re coming into the city, understanding that the foundation was laid by the Maloofs.”
The Maloof family did not immediately respond for comment but sources said the Maloofs are indeed interested in being part of the ownership group that finally brings an NBA team to Las Vegas. “I can’t really disclose what’s happening right now because so much is happening but what I can say is I am respectfully interested,” World Peace said. “My team is respectfully and humbly interested in everything that’s happening in Las Vegas and we are going to continue to pursue it.”
If and when the NBA does expand, it is expected that Seattle will land a team that can finally replace the SuperSonics, which were relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008. Silver has acknowledged Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James’ interest in wanting to be a part of an ownership group for a potential expansion team in Las Vegas. The NBA, however, acknowledged to Andscape that Mexico City could be a potential NBA expansion site if all goes well with the Capitanes de Ciudad de Mexico. The Capitanes made their G League debut in Mexico with a 120-84 victory over the Rio Grande Vipers in front of 7,391 fans at Arena CDMX Sunday night.
“Expansion is currently not on the docket, but at some point, if we were to turn to expansion, there’s no doubt that Mexico City would have to be one the cities that would be in consideration along with a host of other very big and relevant cities in North America,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum told Andscape. “One of the biggest challenges around international expansion has always been the travel issues, the facility issues. But there is a world-class facility in Mexico City in Arena CDMX, which is where we’ve been playing our games and our global games in Mexico. And that’s actually the home of the G League team, the Capitanes. And so that’s not an issue.
“Mexico life has been great,” said Capitanes center Jahlil Okafor, a former NBA center from Chicago. “I’m here with my fiancée. We go to a lot of restaurants and I’m working on my craft trying to get better. I feel extremely safe. I haven’t had any worries. I’m in Polanco, which is one of the best neighborhoods. So, I definitely feel safe.”