NBA Commissioner Wants G League Franchise In Mexico City, Possibly Next Season
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said that the league "intends to move quickly" to put a G League franchise in Mexico City, according to Marc Stein of the N.Y. TIMES. Silver: "Mexico is a flourishing basketball market with growing fan interest and increased youth participation." Stein notes a Mexico-based G League team would be "owned and operated locally and potentially begin play as early as next season, although a specific timetable is not yet official." Establishing a G League franchise would be the "latest serious step by the NBA in its efforts to gain a foothold in Mexico and gauge the viability of putting an NBA team in the largest market in Latin America." While stressing that the league is "not actively pursuing expansion or relocation for any of its 30 current franchises, Silver has described Mexico City as a natural contender for an eventual NBA team on numerous occasions this year." The G League is "scheduled to have franchises owned or directly affiliated with 27 NBA teams next season as it continues to work toward its long-stated '30 for 30' goal, which calls for every NBA franchise to have a direct affiliate in the developmental league." A Mexico City franchise is "likely to begin operations" before the G League reaches 30 NBA-owned franchises, but "would be owned and operated separate from the NBA (N.Y. TIMES, 12/8). Silver said that other Mexican cities "could also be considered if the G League team does move south of the border." He added that the league was "exploring the cost involved in a Mexican G League franchise" (AP, 12/7). Silver also announced plans to "launch an NBA Academy" in Mexico City. The AP noted both plans "demonstrate the importance of the Mexico City market to the league's desire to further grow in Latin America" (AP, 12/7).