Is LeBron James Joining Saudi Arabian Team? Exploring the Possible Outcomes of 4x NBA Champion’s Visit to $1.4 Trillion Worth Country

Published 09/05/2023, 3:30 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

Saudi Arabia is aiming to conquer major sporting scenes. Football is the most popular game and they have already attracted two of its biggest star. Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar now grace the Saudi Arabian Football League, something which no one could have imagined. These arrivals have made Saudi Arabia a hot market. And why not? The country’s economics department is throwing around money like it is raining in Colombia. The Saudi Arabian Football League went as far as giving Kylian Mbappe a never-heard-before $1 billion deal.

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Will they be also throwing around the same kind of money for basketball which isn’t even a shadow of football in the country? If they do throw such money, will LeBron James ever join the scene?

Will LeBron James be in the Saudi Arabian Basketball League?

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The Lakers Forward went to Saudi Arabia as a part of the “Visit Saudi” program, which also has the sponsorship of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. In a photograph by Saudi Arabia Basketball’s X handle, we can see the Forward in what appears to be a training camp. He is moving toward a couple of basketballs while in the background young hoopers are lining up. The poster in the back reads “Saudi Welcome to Arabia”.

This is a promotion of the game in a country where basketball doesn’t capture the popular imagination. This move by James alone will help nurture the young hoopers of the nation and they can take the motivation to their respective localities. It will result in some growth, but it is only sustainable if such programs are a regular fixture, with other big-time basketball stars in the mix.

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But what will be the real game-changer? If LeBron James joins the nation’s basketball league, it will be a real deal. If their basketball league offers a contract that is like $200 million a year or even more, wouldn’t the superstar be interested in joining?

The money game can have the pull for LBJ

In the NBA, LBJ has earned around $431 million and if he signs an extension with the Lakers or signs any other deal, he will easily eclipse the $600 million mark soon. However, if the Saudi Basketball League goes their football league’s way, this amount can be nabbed in a go. Upon hearing Kylian Mbappe’s unbelievable $1.1 billion, the hilarious athlete didn’t shy away from making jokes. However, the joke can become a possibility. 

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If money like this is getting thrown, wouldn’t the four-time NBA champion be interested? He has already amassed his glory in the NBA and making a big bank will make sense for further accelerating his business ambitions. The House of Saud, which runs the nation’s polity and economy, has amassed at least $1.4 trillion so they can pull another money bunny out of their hat.

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Do you believe this could happen if a chance arises? Do share in the comments below.

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Written by:

Shubham Singh

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Shubham is an NBA Writer at Essentially Sports. He became a fan of the NBA in late 2000s and his interest skyrocketed after Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks upset the Miami Heat in Six Games during 2011 NBA Finals. He loves looking into playing styles of different players and teams while also trying to analyse what circumstances shape a typical NBA game.
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Edited by:

Saumya Khanduja

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