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NBA Plans to Put a Minor League Team in Mexico City

December 11, 2017

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and some of his Nets teammates greeting fans in Mexico City on Wednesday. The Nets played two regular-season games there last week. (Photo: Rebecca Blackwell/Associated Press)

Mexico City - Before the first of two N.B.A. regular season games were played in Mexico City last week, league Commissioner Adam Silver said that the National Basketball Association intends to move quickly to put a N.B.A. G League franchise in the Mexican capital as early as next season.

A team in the G League, which serves as the N.B.A.'s official minor league, would be owned and operated locally. Silver was in Mexico City to meet with local parties interested in owning the franchise, while the Nets, Thunder and Heat were there to take part in the Mexico City Global Games.

Establishing a G League franchise on Mexican soil would be the latest serious step by the N.B.A. in its efforts to gain a foothold in Mexico and gauge the viability of putting an N.B.A. team in the largest market in Latin America.

While stressing that his 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 N.B.A. team. "Mexico is a flourishing basketball market with growing fan interest and increased youth participation," he said.

This comes just a few weeks after a report from's Jonathon Givony said that the league was planning to announce a development and training academy in Mexico City. The NBA currently has six academies already, with one in Australia, one in India, one in Senegal and three in China.

Sources: Sports Illustrated The New York Times