NBA may look to add mid-season tournament, franchise in Mexico City
Adam Silver hints at more NBA in Mexico
With a plethora of international players and games being able to be seen worldwide thanks to League Pass, the NBA is truly a global game. However, despite the global nature of the league, only Canada and the United States host NBA teams. However, according to commissioner Adam Silver, the NBA may consider an expansion team in Mexico at some point in the not-so-distant future.
Speaking during his visit to Mexico City, where the NBA hosted two regular season games for the first time in one season, Silver hinted at a possible franchise coming to the Mexican capital. But before that could happen, Silver said a possible midseason tournament of some sort, is perhaps a bit more feasible.
From ESPN's Micheal C. Wright:
"In terms of a franchise in Mexico City, it's something that we're going to look at," Silver said. "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. Clearly coming to Mexico City just because of the huge population here in Mexico but in essence as a gateway to the rest of Latin America could potentially be very important to the league. 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."
"I think the next step before we start talking about a franchise in Mexico City is to bring more games here. Of course we've had these two regular-season games, and whether we bring additional regular-season games in the next season or do some sort of tournament where you bring over a group of teams and they all play each other in some format -- that's something that we're looking at," Silver said.
There has often been talk about the NBA expanding to Europe, but while that could happen at some point in the future, a team in Mexico City makes more sense logistically. Of course, Silver isn't saying a franchise is definitely coming to Mexico City. He is just giving hope to the fans in the city and the country, while also not shutting down the possibility of a team one day being there. Because, hey, you never know.
But Silver's idea of a tournament is a bit more interesting and leads to numerous other questions. Like will this tournament happen during the regular season? Will it affect a team's playoff chances?
Also a tournament may be something that players are not into, especially if it is an addition to the regular season. Players already get fatigued throughout the course of a regular season and many opt out of All-Star events so they can get some much needed rest and relaxation.
Either way though, a franchise and a tournament in Mexico City are all ideas the NBA are exploring. They could choose not to do either and continue to play more regular season games in the city. But with the success of the recent games in the city, from a financial standpoint, it only makes sense for the league to continue to look at Mexico City as a viable NBA market.
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