The NBA has done its best in recent years to become more of a global game, beating international outreach programs and playing games outside of the US. The upcoming season will be no different, as the NBA is bringing two more regular season contests to Mexico City.
Last season was the first time that Mexico hosted regular season NBA games, as the Phoenix Suns took on the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs at the Arena Ciudad de Mexico. This year, Mexican NBA fans will get to see the Brooklyn Nets face off against both the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Miami Heat.
The new-look Nets are hoping to be much better this year than they have been in recent years with the additions of D’Angelo Russell, DeMarre Carroll, and Allen Crabbe. Brooklyn will be facing off against Russell Westbrook’s Oklahoma City Thunder on December 7th, before taking on Hassan Whiteside and the Miami Heat on December 9th. Both games–which are part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the first NBA game in Mexico–will be televised on ESPN and Televisa in Mexico as well as being available on NBA League Pass.
Heat president Pat Riley spoke this week about Miami’s role in helping expand basketball internationally: “We are thrilled to be able to participate in the NBA Mexico City games. The game of basketball is truly a global game and we are proud to be a part of its return to Mexico City. We look forward to our first-ever regular season game there and bringing the HEAT experience to our fans in Mexico.”
The NBA has had a long history with its souther neighbor; this season’s games will be the 25th and 26th games played in Mexico since 1992, the most held in any country outside of the United States and Canada. Commissioner Adam Silver spoke on the NBA’s relationship with Mexico in a statement released. “The (games) will also mark the 25th anniversary of our first game in Mexico City, a milestone in our relationship with our Mexican fans and a further indication of our desire to strengthen our ties to Mexico and Latin America.” There have been four players from Mexico to play in the NBA, although there are none currently on a roster.