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NBA legend plans changes for Las Vegas community

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Posted at 4:54 PM, May 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-24 21:29:51-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Spencer Haywood has transformed the NBA in more ways than one. Now, he's looking to be a game-changer right here in Las Vegas.

"Before I came along, the NBA didn't allow players to leave high school, college or anything you had to stay for four years after your high school class or graduated," Haywood said. "So I sued the NBA for the rights to play."

Five decades later, the impact of Haywood is clear every time you look on an NBA court.

"In that Supreme Court ruling, I won seven to two," Haywood said.

It's a ruling that's now known as the "Spencer Haywood rule," allowing college players to turn professional early, ultimately opening doors for players to make millions early in their careers.

"I also created somewhat of $33 billion in player revenue. You know, that's what I fought for it. So, I didn't know it was going to be this big. I didn't know the revenue was going to come out like this," he said. "But since it has, I mean, I'm very, very grateful that I was the one who created this."

The Silver City, Mississippi native turned into a Las Vegas local. Haywood has left a legacy on the court, but now he's looking to make his mark in Southern Nevada.

"Why not take a space in Summerlin next to Roseman University and build this retirement center in this retirement area for the NBA and the WNBA," Haywood.

Haywood says giving back to the community that he calls home is an opportunity to continue his influence off the court even more.

"The vision is to have condos for one to two people," Haywood said. "Mental health is also the very key component for it."