MEXICO CITY (AP) — The G League is going to Mexico.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Thursday night that Capitanes — a Mexico City-based team from the top Mexican pro league — will join the G League in the 2020-21 season as the league’s 29th team.
Capitanes will become the first G League team from outside the U.S. and Canada. The announcement was made shortly before Dallas and Detroit played the first of two NBA regular-season games happening this week in Mexico City.
It will not have affiliation with an NBA franchise. Portland and Denver are the last two NBA teams without a G League affiliate. The other 28 have G League clubs.
“Capitanes will continue to run their club,” Silver said. “I think we very much hope that they will have Mexican players participating in the G League, but at the end of the day they also want to compete in the G League and they want to assemble a world-class team. So I think we want to strike the right balance.”
Silver said bringing a G League team to Mexico City “is a historic milestone for the NBA which demonstrates our commitment to basketball fans in Mexico and across Latin America.” The NFL and Major League Baseball have played regular-season games in Mexico as well, and Silver said this is a major step for the NBA.
“We’ve very much doubled-down our efforts over the last five years as we’ve continued to see the opportunity,” Silver said.
The initial agreement between Capitanes and the G League is for five years.
Silver said the NBA has talked about Mexico City in terms of expansion one day, but also noted that the league is “not in an expansion mode at this time.”
“But I have no doubt when the league, whatever the timetable, turns to look at expansion Mexico City will be on our list,” Silver said.