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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkSports 

The NBA is Exploring Possible Mexico-Based Franchise

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January 18, 2017

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, Silver was grateful to the fans and even lauded the city's NBA-ready facilities.

Mexico City - 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.

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 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 official said.

Original article