NBA exploring possible Mexico-based franchise, says commissioner | Inquirer Sports

NBA exploring possible Mexico-based franchise, says commissioner

/ 04:34 PM January 16, 2017

In this April 29, 2014 file photo, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver holds a press conference in New York. Sporting goods giant Nike reached an eight-year deal June 10, 2015 to become the exclusive on-court apparel provider for the NBA. The contract takes effect in the 2017-2018 season, replacing a deal between the National Basketball Association and Adidas, which expires after the 2016-2017 season. "This partnership with Nike represents a new paradigm in the structure of our global merchandising business," said Silver. AFP FILE PHOTO

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. AFP

The National Basketball Association made a triumphant return to Mexico City with a pair of thrilling regular season games over the weekend, and some thrilling plans on the future of NBA in Mexico.

READ: Booker has 39 points, Suns beat Spurs in Mexico City


Marking the 25th anniversary of the first ever games played in Mexico, NBA commissioner Adam Silver promised Mexican fans to expect even more contests in Latin America and even hinted at the possibility of adding a franchise, as well as a Development League team in the country.


“In terms of a franchise in Mexico City, it’s something that we’re going to look at,” the 54-year-old commissioner was quoted as saying in an ESPN report.

“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 explained.

After a sell-out attendance of 20,532 fans during the San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns match-up at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico in Azcapotzalco, Silver was grateful to the fans and even lauded the city’s NBA-ready facilities.

“You clearly have a beautiful state-of-the-art arena here, and you can tell by ticket sales that we have the interest. So that’s something that we will continue to look at,” Silver said.

Furthermore, Silver added that the country could potentially be very important to the league, as it could also serve as as a gateway to the rest of Latin America.

But for this to happen, the country has to start developing NBA-caliber players, much like retired forward and now Dallas Mavericks scout Eduardo Najera, and former stalwarts Jorge Gutierrez and Gustavo Ayon.


Raul Zarraga, managing director of NBA Mexico, said the league needs “to work more closely with local authorities to see how we can grow the basketball professionally to find new players that in the future can play in the NBA.”

Silver echoed his sentiments and suggested a possibility of opening schools and clinics that would hone such talents.

“One other factor is, in order to grow basketball in Mexico, we realize we need to ensure that NBA-caliber players are coming from this market. So just as we look at other markets throughout the world, we’re going to look to open an academy here in Mexico because there’s a lot of great basketball being played at a young level,” the league’s highest official said. Khristian Ibarrola


Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Popovich, Spurs back in Mexico after a bad experience

TAGS: Adam Silver, expansion, Mexico, NBA, NBA commissioner, NBA Global Games

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.