NBA commissioner Adam Silver added some new context about the prospect of the league expanding to Mexico City at the 2022 NBA Mexico City Game, the first regular season game held by the league south of the border since 2019.
With the success of the Capitanes — the Mexican capital’s G League team — this season and the growth of the country’s NBA fanbase to roughly 30 million souls, Silver related that while the league is not currently ready to expand, Mexico City is among the top locations the NBA is looking at for a potential new franchise to be added to the league.
“Over the last three decades, we’ve experienced tremendous growth of the game here in México,” related Silver. “It’s now a top-five market outside the U.S. and Canada for the NBA.”
Dec 17, 2022; Mexico City, MEX; A general overall view of the NBA Mexico City Game 2022 logo at center court as Miami Heat guard Victor Oladipo (4) dribbles the ball against San Antonio Spurs guard Tre Jones (33) during the first half at the Arena de Ciudad de Mexico. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
The Capitanes have given the league a window into what having a full-fledged NBA team in the city might be like, according to the Commissioner.
“We think that’s an important next step in terms of the development in this market,” he explained.
“It gives us an opportunity to better understand what it means to operate on the ground here in México City, dealing with local culture, obviously a different language, all the other circumstances around possibly having an NBA franchise here one day.”
The local excitement the Capitanes have provoked has been enormous, according to Silver, who pushed back against some of the more frequent concerns raised by those who doubt the potential of a Mexican NBA franchise.
Dec 17, 2022; Mexico City, MEX; A Spanish language advertisement for the NBA app featuring Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum at the NBA Mexico City Game 2022 at the Arena de Ciudad de Mexico. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports