It’s said all the time, and it really is true: The NBA is an international game.
There were 108 international players from 42 different countries on opening night rosters for the 2017-18 season back in October, and every team featured at least one international player.
The league has already established a strong foothold in Europe and China, most notably, but it now appears they’re going all-in on the Mexican market. According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the NBA will establish a G League franchise in Mexico City as soon as possible, which could begin play as quickly as next season.
The news comes as the Brooklyn Nets prepare to play the first of two Mexico City games. On Thursday the Nets will face the Oklahoma City Thunder, and on Saturday they’ll play the Miami Heat — both games will take place a the Arena Ciudad de Mexico.
The two games will be the 25th and 26th in Mexico since 1992, the most NBA games held in any country outside the U.S. and Canada.
According to The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, the G League franchise will not start with a parent NBA team, but it hasn’t been ruled out as a future possibility.