Adam Silver Comments on Potentially Adding Mexico City Franchise

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2017

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 12:  NBA commissioner, Adam Silver speaks during a press conference prior to the NBA match between Indiana Pacers and Denver Nuggets at the O2 Arena on January 12, 2017 in London, England.  (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Dan Mullan/Getty Images

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league not only wants to bring more regular-season games to Mexico, but it may also consider adding a franchise in Mexico City in the future, per Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com.

"In terms of a franchise in Mexico City, it's something that we're going to look at," Silver said. "This is a competitive market, well over 20 million people. While we have no immediate plans to expand the NBA, one of the things that we look at is whether expanding would be additive to the league as a whole."

He continued: "Clearly coming to Mexico City just because of the huge population here in Mexico but in essence as a gateway to the rest of Latin America could potentially be very important to the league. You clearly have a beautiful state-of-the-art arena here, and you can tell by ticket sales that we have the interest."

Silver also noted the Arena Monterrey in Monterrey, Mexico, could host a D-League team in the future. In addition, the NBA has plans to start an officially sanctioned Mexican NBA development academy.

The NBA just completed a two-game set in Mexico for the first time in league history, with the Mavericks defeating the Suns on Thursday before the Suns beat the Spurs on Saturday in front of 20,532 fans—a sellout and the largest crowd to attend an NBA game in Mexico.

Silver wants more games in the country in the coming years.

"Of course we've had these two regular-season games, and whether we bring additional regular-season games in the next season or do some sort of tournament where you bring over a group of teams and they all play each other in some format—that's something that we're looking at," he said.

The two games in Mexico City weren't the only international affairs. Earlier in the week, the Nuggets and Pacers faced off at The O2 in London.

The NBA has continued to grow its presence around the world. Last season, 100 international players were on opening-night rosters, and in the 2016 NBA draft, 15 of the 30 first-round picks were foreign-born.

While basketball has grown in popularity across the globe, the NBA and the impact of the '92 Dream Team—and each Team USA group that has competed in the Olympics with star-studded lineups—has played a part.

Expanding into Mexico is one of the next logical moves in that process.


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