An NBA franchise in Mexico has been confirmed

On the road with his NBA this weekend in Mexico, Adam Silver provided new details on the Big League’s expansion aspirations. Without promising to agree, the boss still confirmed the recent trend: an NBA franchise in Mexico, slowly but surely we are getting closer.

Mexico City, home of a 31st NBA franchise?

During the match between the Spurs and the Heat in Mexico this Saturday night, Adam Silver held his ceremonial press conference.

The opportunity for dirlo to address many topics, including the collective agreement that binds players to the League and will soon become the number 1 topic of discussion behind the scenes.

Exactly, taking the opportunity to recall that his daily life is more filled with the CBA than any other topic, Silver nevertheless gathered the questions related to Mexico City to answer them with more accurate. To be clear, and to give food to those who think about this topic a new franchise.

If the NBA doesn’t have expansion at the top of its agenda, Mexico City will be at the top of the list when the topic comes up again…

As for Mexico City, I think that city is doing everything it can to show the NBA that it deserves to have a franchise here. From a geographical, climate and jet lag point of view, it is very accessible. An incredible population of 120 million people, it is the largest city in North America. Our numbers show us that about 30 million of those 120 million people identify as NBA fans, and the trend shows us that number will only increase.

It is quite possible (Editor’s note: that an NBA franchise comes to Mexico). Associate Commissioner Mark Tatum is sitting here in the front row, and I heard his remarks yesterday. I think what Mark meant was that if the expansion topic is not a priority today, unlike the next NBA collective agreement which is a priority topic, we will look again on the subject once this CBA and our new media rights are behind us.

As I have said in the past, I believe it is our manifest destiny to continue to grow, both in the United States and outside the United States. When you see the success the NBA has had in Canada since the early 90s, it makes no sense not to want to try expanding south. And also like I said, this is our 31st game here, in a very accessible market, so we will continue our efforts in this direction.

I don’t have a specific agenda to offer regarding expansion, but when we get there I have no doubt we’ll be looking at Mexico City.

It is clear that after the test of the 90s in Canada, there is something that wants to try the adventure in Mexico.

29 franchises in the USA, one more at the top, one more at the bottom, what are people asking for?

We saw in Toronto that the enthusiasm was huge, the Raptors were supported by their city but also by an entire country. In Mexico City, we can easily imagine an entire country rallying behind local stars, enough to make Adam Silver and the financial corridors of the NBA salivate. However, we still have a long way to go before we get there.

That, as Silver points out, we are entering an era of CBA negotiations that will leave no room for any other topic.

The NBA cannot afford another lockout, so it must redouble its efforts to ensure that discussions between players and owners go as smoothly as possible.

Once this new collective agreement is signed and the TV / streaming rights are negotiated, we can start talking about Mexico again.

And it would be hard to avoid the sprawling Mexican city, even by evoking Las Vegas and Seattle on American soil. In a market already conquered in the US, the priority of another American franchise is not so obvious, leaving aside the emotional aspect that the return of the NBA to Seattle will represent for example. A move to Mexico City, as the League did in Toronto and Vancouver in the new Canadian market almost 30 years ago, seems more attractive.

So how do you approach the next few months?

Well, while waiting for the future press conferences of Adam Silver, Paris in a month exactly, and keeping in mind that all these tests in Mexico are not in the air. If there’s one city that ticks all the boxes, it’s Mexico. To be continued, but get your best franchise names ready.

Source : Jeff Zillgitt – USA Today

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