The NBA is playing some games down in Mexico City this weekend to celebrate the 25th anniversary of when they played the first games in Mexico.
During a media session before the tip of the San Antonio Spurs and Phoenix Suns game, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver dropped some hints that the NBA may look to expand into the Mexico City market in the near future.
"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.”
This is not something new. We reported a few months back that Mexico City was on the short list of NBA expansion cities and that list is even shorter now. It's down to three, in fact; Seattle, Louisville, and the aforementioned Mexico City.
I’ve been told that Seattle is the only guarantee of expansion by a few different higher-ups in the league office. Well, that is as long as the City of Seattle can figure out what it is doing with the arena.
Silver did say that the league has “no immediate plans to expand the NBA,” but then made further comments that would make one believe that the idea is definitely on their minds. “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."
There is a lot happening behind closed doors and next week appears to be a very busy week here in town, but don't expect a lot of public fanfare on this. This is going to be a deal that's done in a back room, through lots of negotiations in the middle of the night and the team is magically going to appear. Okay, it won't magically appear, but that's what it is going to seem like.
It’s no longer on the league to deliver us a team, it is now up to the city to give the league a suitable place to house it. If the league expands and Seattle misses out, it will be the city’s fault.