NBA Expands Its G League With Mexico City Capitanes
Capitanes will be the first NBA-affiliated team outside of the U.S. and Canada.
Last week, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced the Mexico City-based Capitanes will be joining the NBA G League beginning in the 2020-21 season.
NBA fans in Mexico celebrated the news. Many hoped it will open the door for more talent from Mexico to play in the NBA. It also points toward the NBA’s interest in growing its Mexican market. Capitanes is the first NBA-affiliated team based outside of the U.S. and Canada.
Luis Miguel Vasavilbaso is a sports reporter for ESPN Mexico. He says the expansion establishes a direct line to the NBA for both fans and players.
“It’s a pretty big deal for us because it’s the first opportunity that we have that an American league pays real attention to Mexican sports,” Vasavilbaso says.
To date, 30 NBA games have been played in Mexico. Last week, the Dallas Mavericks and the San Antonio Spurs attracted sellout crowds of over 20,000 people.
Despite the attraction, Vasavilbaso says it’s unlikely Mexico will get a major NBA team.
“The economy of the country makes it really hard because even though we had a fifth-straight sellout this year, it’s not the same to have just two games a year to having three games a week,” Vasavilbaso says. “I don’t see it working with the people because it’s expensive.”
Written by Antonio Cueto.