An NBA franchise in Mexico, it’s confirmed

On the road with his NBA this weekend on the Mexico side, Adam Silver gave new details on the wishes of expansion of the Big League. Without being in the promise to the affirmative, the boss still confirmed the recent trend: an NBA franchise in Mexico, we are getting closer slowly but surely.

Mexico City, home to a 31st NBA franchise?

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

The opportunity for the dirlo to address many subjects, including the collective agreement which binds the players to the League and will soon be the number 1 subject of discussion behind the scenes.

Precisely, taking advantage of the occasion to recall that his daily life is filled more with the CBA than with any other subject, Silver has nevertheless collected the questions related to Mexico City in order to answer them with more precision. Just to be clear, and to give food to those who speculate around this subject of 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 subject comes up again…

As for Mexico City, I think that city is doing everything it takes to show the NBA that it deserves to have a franchise here. From a geographical point of view, climate and jet lag, 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 is only going to rise.

It is quite possible (Editor’s note: that an NBA franchise arrives in 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 of 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 attempt an expansion south as well. And as I also 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 an expansion, but when we get there I have no doubt that we will be looking at Mexico City.

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

29 franchises in the USA, one more upstairs, one more downstairs, what are the people asking for?

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

Already, as Silver points out, we will be entering a period of CBA negotiations that will leave no room for any other subject.

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 dealt, then we can start talking about Mexico again.

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

So how do you approach the next few months?

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

Source : Jeff Zillgitt – USA Today

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