Swish wish: Thoughts on luring an NBA team to Vegas

Which team will it be?

Should MGM Resorts’ Chairman and CEO Jim Murren (or anybody else) convince an NBA team to move to Vegas, which are the likely candidates? Seattle, which lost the Supersonics to Oklahoma City (now the Thunder) in 2008, is working on a new privately funded arena and could compete with Vegas to grab a franchise like the New Orleans Pelicans (the only NBA team playing outside of a top-50 media market), the Milwaukee Bucks (small market, low attendance), the Sacramento Kings (arena issues) or the Memphis Grizzlies (small market). Based only on speculation and Internet ramblings, the Bucks seem like the leading candidate, but if Vegas gets the NFL’s Raiders, that could add another shiny coating of sports-glam sheen to our city, possibly tempting other teams. How ’bout them Clippers? –Brock Radke

Before we get in line for pro jai alai and cricket franchises, how about we see how hockey does here, and, you know, give that team a chance to build a fanbase. The NBA would surely outdraw the NHL here in the desert, but given a decent head start, our first-ever major-league team might actually win the hearts of lots of Las Vegans, even those who’ve never set foot in an ice rink. That is, if they’re not too busy drooling over the possibility of the Raiders and who-knows-what NBA club relocating here. So let’s keep our eyes on the puck, and get excited about the one sport we know is actually, fully excited about us. –Spencer Patterson

If NBA and NHL teams both play at T-Mobile in a Staples Center or Madison Square Garden-like arrangement, know who wins the most? Taxpayers. –Mike Prevatt

If MGM Resorts does play a role in a Sin City NBA team, should we rename the squad the Las Vegas Lions? Could be worse. –BR

Is this a case of too much, too soon? We’re unaccustomed to supporting even one major hometown sports franchise, and filled with existing allegiances to those from elsewhere due to such a void. Are we expected to suddenly disavow our emotional connections to the Lakers, Broncos, Blackhawks, et al? –MP

The NBA: Another thing we’re wasting time on, instead of just getting the soccer team that would actually succeed in this market. –Geoff Carter

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